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Throughout the recruiting process, Rivals150 guard Wade Baldwin stressed the importance of academics in his decision. He wasn't just talking, either.
After a weekend visit to Vanderbilt, the 6-foot-3 combo guard from Metuchen (N.J.) St. Joseph's picked Kevin Stallings' program.
"First and foremost, they have the academics and I've been an academic guy since day one," Baldwin told Rivals.com. "Then coach Hufnagel, Coach Cason, Coach Richardson and Coach Stallings have been great with me throughout, and they have a great plan for me to boost me to the next level."
According to Baldwin, the feel he got from the other students on campus was huge as well.
"They have a great campus, and all of the students were treating me well," Baldwin said. "Even before I told them I was a recruit, they were open arms to me and it was giving me a feeling of home."
Ranked No. 117 in the Rivals150, Baldwin is an outstanding athlete who has good length and finishes well at the basket. He can play either guard spot and has the potential to be a lockdown defender all around the perimeter.
"They are recruiting me as a point guard," Baldwin said. "They are of the mind that I can come in as a freshman and have a good chance of starting. With my athleticism and my defensive ability, they think they can use me to help shut down guys."
With his commitment out of the way, Baldwin is looking forward to his senior season. He's also looking forward to mixing it up with a current teammate and future foe, Kentucky bound Karl Towns.
"Now I can just focus on my high school team and me trash talking Karl because I'm going to play him in 2014 in Rupp Arena," Baldwin said. "I'm all open arms to it and excited to play against him. At the end of the day, I've got to prove that Vanderbilt is the better school and get the job done."
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