Heath lands commitment from Flint guard Hawkins
USF men's basketball coach Stan Heath has picked up his third commitment toward the 2012 recruiting class, getting a pledge after an official visit from JaVontae Hawkins, a 6-foot-5, 180-pound shooting guard from Flint, Mich., who is playing this year at Huntington Prep in West Virginia.
Hawkins confirmed his commitment Monday afternoon, and Arkell Bruce, an assistant at Huntington, said Hawkins chose the Bulls over offers from Cincinnati, Iowa and Arizona State, along with interest from West Virginia and Virginia Tech.
"He's freakishly athletic," said Huntington head coach Rob Fulford. "I don't classify him as a shooter. He's a scorer and a shotmaker. Plays at an extremely high level in transition. The halfcourt game we're working on, in terms of tempo and not forcing the issue. They're getting an extremely high-level athlete that can score."
Hawkins is a national top-100 recruit, according to ESPNU and CBSSports.com's rankings -- ESPNU has him at No. 89, while CBS ranks him 96th; Rivals.com has him at No. 116. He's also the No. 3 overall prospect in Michigan this year, according to ESPNU's rankings. With USF's new commitment, there are 12 different Big East programs with commitments from players in the ESPNU top 100.
Hawkins is in Heath's home territory -- he is from Detroit and coached on Michigan State's national championship team in 2000. Bruce said Heath has been recruiting Hawkins since his sophomore year at Flint's Powers Catholic School, and that his primary recruiter this season was Andy Hipsher, who is in his first year as a full-time assistant with the Bulls.
Hawkins is the third commitment in the 2012 class, joining junior college center Waverly Austin (who signed with USF out of prep school) and junior college shooting guard Musa Abdul-Aleem.
Huntington Prep opens its season Saturday, though Hawkins won't play initially -- he suffered a severe concussion two weeks ago in practice. Fulford said he took a hard foul as he went to the basket and was knocked unconscious when his head hit the floor, but that Hawkins is expected to be cleared in the next few weeks.