March Madness

Decision Dossier: Four-star Jaylen Harrell set for July 1 announcement

Decision Dossier: Four-star Jaylen Harrell set for July 1 announcement

Four-star wing Jaylen Harrell has finished his visits, polished off his period of reflection and is ready to make a commitment. The Massachusetts-based standout has scheduled a July 1 announcement and seems locked in to the school of his choice as we speed toward decision day.

Harrell, who was originally set to announce his pledge on May 27 before pushing his decision back at the 11th hour, lists a final six of Rutgers, Kansas, Providence, Xavier, Virginia Tech and Alabama. Still, those programs don't stand on equal footing.

Below, Rivals national analyst Rob Cassidy explores the decision that lies before Harrell and makes a prediction about where he’ll ultimately land.

More: Illinois lands commitment from five-star Canadian wing Will Riley

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THE MAIN CHARACTER: Providence

Providence stands at the center of Harrell’s recruitment based on the fact that the Friars felt like the clear front-runner back in May, when the four-star wing was originally set to announce his commitment. Harrell postponed his announcement at the 11th hour, however, which wasn’t exactly encouraging news for Kim English and his program. Still, Providence remains heavily involved and among the front-runners to win the Harrell Sweepstakes when it concludes early next week.

If the Friars lose out now, the sting may linger a bit longer than usual given the fact that the program was so close to landing Harrell’s pledge roughly 30 days ago.

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THE ACTUAL THREATS: Rutgers, Xavier

Harrell’s recruitment felt like a Providence vs. Rutgers affair days before the four-star pushed back his scheduled May 27 decision, but the quick postponement in the days after Harrell wrapped up his official visit to Xavier suggests Sean Miller and his Musketeers made a late, effective push. Meanwhile, Rutgers has poured significant resources into the pursuit of Harrell and felt at least somewhat optimistic as recently as a few weeks back.

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THE WINDOW DRESSING: Alabama, Kansas, Virginia Tech

At this juncture, Harrell landing anywhere that isn’t Providence, Xavier or Rutgers would be a significant shock. It’s mostly unwise to count Kansas and Alabama out of anything these days, obviously, but this case feels like an exception seeing as he has not taken a known official visit to either campus.

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PREDICTION: Providence

The commitment head-fake Harrell pulled last month may not have been ideal from Providence’s perspective, but people close to the situation seem to expect the status quo to hold up once the 6-foot-6 forward’s July 1 decision date rolls around. Providence still feels like the favorite, but it should be noted that recruitments that feature 11th-hour postponements sometimes have a way of packing surprises.

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