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McDonald's Nuggets: Recruiting wins of '21, Commit of the Week

In this week’s edition of McDonald’s Nuggets, Dan McDonald names the top five recruiting wins of 2021 and highlights another strong addition for Texas coach Chris Beard on the recruiting trail.


MORE: Roundtable on 2022 rankings, 2021 in review

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Rivals150

2024 Rankings: Top 40


STARTING FIVE: Five biggest recruiting wins of 2021

Chet Holmgren
Chet Holmgren (AP Images)

The 2021 calendar year brought us many important commitments on the recruiting trail in both the 2021 and 2022 classes, but it was also the first year with the new one-time transfer rule in place, which made the transfer portal more important than ever.

1. In the last 12 months, it was Gonzaga that scored the most important commitment when it landed Chet Holmgren, the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2021 class. Mark Few’s staff landed five-star guard Jalen Suggs out of Minnesota in the 2020 class but one-upped itself by going back for an even higher-ranked prospect. Holmgren, who chose Gonzaga over several top programs, is currently averaging 13 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.4 blocks in his first 13 college games.

2. Bruce Pearl nearly won a huge recruiting battle for Walker Kessler when the former five-star prospect was coming out of high school in the 2020 class. Pearl had a second chance to win over the Georgia native earlier this year when Kessler entered the transfer portal after his freshman season at North Carolina. Kessler nearly opted to go back to Chapel Hill after the coaching change, but Auburn won out and it’s paying off on the court in a big way as the 7-footer most recently recorded a triple-double in a huge home win over LSU.

3. Kentucky was one of the first programs to offer Shaedon Sharpe, the current No. 1 prospect in the 2022 Rivals150, during the 2020-21 high school season. The early offer and relentless pursuit paid off for John Calipari as Sharpe opted to sign with Kentucky and will be enrolling for the spring semester to redshirt and prepare for next season. Look for the explosive scoring guard to be one of the top players in college basketball next season - and a high pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

4. With Sharpe deciding to leave the 2022 class to enroll early at Kentucky, Kyle Filipowski is one of the prospects under serious discussion to take over the No. 1 spot in the Rivals150. It’s not terribly surprising for Duke to be landing the top prospect in the country, but it is significant that his commitment came after the news of Coach K’s retirement following this season, which means he’ll be in the first freshman class to play for coach-in-waiting Jon Scheyer. Duke beat out several top programs from around the country to sign Filipowski, including Kentucky, North Carolina, UCLA, Michigan, Ohio State and many more.

5. Baylor has had really good guard play the last few years. With the addition of Keyonte George during the Early Signing Period that won’t be slowing down any time soon. The five-star Texas native is one of the top prospects in the 2022 class and will be one of the best guards in college basketball next season. He’s a three-level scorer and a gifted playmaker. Beating out Texas to receive a commitment from George was huge news for Baylor, which is coming off the national championship in April.


2022 COMMIT OF THE WEEK: Rowan Brumbaugh to Texas

Earlier this week, four-star point guard Rowan Brumbaugh decided to decommit from Northwestern after choosing the Wildcats over several top programs. Brumbaugh wasted no time after opening up his recruitment this week in choosing a new school as he announced a commitment to Texas on Thursday night.

Brumbaugh joins five-star point guard Arterio Morris and high four-star forward Dillon Mitchell in Chris Beard’s 2022 class. Brumbaugh gives the Longhorns another really talented playmaker with great size for a guard at 6-foot-4. Kansas, Maryland, Miami and Oregon were the other finalists, along with Texas, when Brumbaugh originally chose Northwestern back in August.