2013 center Joel Embiid from Gainesville (Fla.) The Rock has narrowed down his list of finalists to three schools. The raw but talented big man will choose from the Florida Gators, Kansas Jayhawks, and Texas Longhorns. Coaches from all three schools had in-home visits with Embiid yesterday. He is expected to announce his decision next week.
The Longhorns are likely third in this race, as both Florida and Kansas are considered the co-favorites ahead of the Longhorns. The Jayhawks will have an opening at center after the departure of senior center Jeff Withey. Meanwhile, Florida has the "hometown" advantage and holds the popular vote of most recruitniks. The Gators could also lose current center Patric Young to the NBA Draft. With the Longhorns expecting the return of current freshmen Cameron Ridley and Prince Ibeh at center next year, the immediate playing time that Embiid is seeking may be hard to come by in Austin.
That said, it's commendable that the Longhorns coaching staff, particularly ex-Florida assistant Rob Lanier, identified Embiid early and stayed on him as his stock soared this summer. Embiid is expected to sign in the Early Signing Period, which starts on November 14.