One of the fastest-rising players in the state of Illinois decided to end his recruitment late Wednesday night. Brandon Paul, a 6-foot-2 guard from Warren Township High School, is headed to the Big Ten.
Warren Township head coach Chuck Ramsey said Paul has given a verbal commitment to the University of Illinois.
"I think Brandon is a young man with tremendous upside and I know they say that about most kids but this one fits that category particularly," Ramsey said. "He's extremely athletic, he runs well, he jumps very well, he's very long and he had a tremendous summer where he impressed a lot of coaches. He's become a good perimeter shooter with considerable range with that three-point shot. He's emerging as someone who is starting to really develop himself."
Emerge is a great way to describe Paul's ascent. The class of 2009 prospect played half the season on varsity and averaged a humble five points a game, according to Ramsey. Since then, Paul quickly developed over the summer with Team NLP, coached by former Chicago Bull Dickey Simpkins.
While Paul laid low from a media perspective in July, sources indicate he was one of the top guards at the Main Event in Las Vegas. Illinois "saw him play a lot in July," Ramsey said.
Ramsey said Wisconsin, Dayton, Iowa, Texas and Northwestern (where Paul had unofficially visited recently) have all been in to open gym to see Paul play. The junior had offers from Northwestern, Wisconsin-Green Bay, and Loyola while Xavier and Washington State also showed interest.
"I think ultimately the sky is the limit. I think this is a young man with tremendous athleticism and learning more and more the finer points of the game," Ramsey said. "I think he can be a tremendous perimeter player for them."
Sources indicate Paul is not the only junior that gave a verbal commitment to Illinois. Fellow in-state prospect D.J. Richardson, according to various reports out of Chicago, has given a pledge to Bruce Weber on Wednesday night, too.