Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
The top center target on the Longhorns recruiting big board picked the rival Jayhawks.
2013 center Joel Embiid from Gainesville (Fla.) The Rock announced his collegiate decision this morning. Embiid, a four-star prospect expected to shoot up the boards in the next round of recruiting rankings, tweeted he has chosen the Kansas Jayhawks as his collegiate destination. Embiid's other finalists were the Texas Longhorns and Florida Gators.
Embiid was likely sold on Bill Self's extensive history of developing raw big men. Self's latest project, Jeff Withey, is a senior and will graduate after this season, leaving an open hole at center. While Embiid would be under consideration to start for Kansas next year as a freshman, he looks more like a 2-3 year developmental project, akin to Texas freshman Prince Ibeh.
The presence of Ibeh and fellow freshman Cameron Ridley on the Texas roster was likely a deterring factor for the Longhorns. Both Ibeh and Ridley look like multi-year contributors, leaving little room for Embiid to make the immediate impact he desired. Embiid will sign with Kansas when the early signing period starts on November 14.
The only current big man left on Texas' recruiting big board is now Julius Randle, a top 5 prospect from Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Christian. Texas is one of six finalists for Randle, who is expected to make a spring decision. The Longhorns do not currently have a commitment in the 2013 class.