On the eve of Zion Williamson’s college announcement, there’s a consensus — but not a certainty — among top recruiting analysts trying to handicap his destination.
Williamson — a 6-foot-6 forward from Spartanburg, S.C. — is the No. 3 overall prospect in the class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, and that makes him the top uncommitted recruit left from that group.
He’s narrowed his choices to Kentucky, Clemson, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina and South Carolina ahead of Saturday night’s announcement.
Going into that public reveal, Clemson remains the favorite.
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The Tigers have picked up momentum throughout the winter, thanks to a continued dogged pursuit by Brad Brownell and his coaching staff, Williamson’s own ties to the program — it’s the closest school to his hometown on the list of finalists, and his stepfather is a former player there — and the team’s proven success on the court this season (the Tigers are currently ranked No. 20 nationally).
Still, there doesn’t seem to be the same level of certainty — or near-certainty, at least — surrounding Williamson’s decision that analysts have had with other high-profile players from this class.
Daniels, the director of recruiting for 247Sports, told the Herald-Leader this week that he felt good about his Clemson prediction, before adding, “I couldn’t say definitively that that’s where he’s going.”
Daniels said he’s sticking to that going into this weekend.
ESPN recruiting analyst Jeff Borzello is predicting Clemson, but he also acknowledged some level of uncertainty heading into the big day.
“No one seems to know for sure, but most of the buzz in recent weeks has centered around Clemson,” Borzello told the Herald-Leader. “There’s been some South Carolina (talk) and a little bit of Kentucky lately, but my gut says Clemson. I think he stays home for school, and Clemson seems a likelier choice than South Carolina.”
Rivals.com national analyst Corey Evans had a similar prediction.
“I am going with Clemson,” he told the Herald-Leader. “Not a definite, but close to it in my mind. I would say UNC and Kentucky are right there still.”
So, it appears there’s still reason for fans to tune in Saturday night.
The announcement ceremony from Williamson’s high school is expected to begin at 8:15 p.m. and be shown live on ESPN2. That’s the same scheduled start time as the UK-Florida game in Rupp Arena. That matchup will be shown on ESPN.