Ben Howland has lured another top prospect to Mississippi State in 2016 big man Schnider Herard.
An elite big man revealed his college decision one week before the start of the early signing period. Schnider Herard announced at a ceremony at his high school on Wednesday that he has committed to Mississippi State
Herard chose the Bulldogs after taking official visits to Kansas, Mississippi State, Purdue and Texas Tech (Cal was the other school included in the top five he released in August). A native of Haiti, Herard arrived in the United States in August 2012. He began garnering interest from high-major programs—he eventually picked up more than 20 scholarship offers—thanks in large part to his size and strength.
At 6'10" and 265 pounds, Herard is renowned for his ability to carve out space on the blocks and back down defenders. “He isn't just tall, he is thick, strong and really knows how to use his size to his advantage,” Eric Bossi, a national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com, wrote of Herard last year. “He sets up position in the post and once he sits down defenders have little hope of moving him off of his spot.”
Teaming with fellow elite 2016 big man Marques Bolden on the same grassroots program, Texas-based Pro Skills, in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League this year, Herard averaged 9.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 52% from the field in 22 games. Rivals.com currently ranks the Prestonwood Christian (Tex.) Academy standout the No. 34 player in the class of 2016.
It’s likely that Mississippi State will need Herard to play major minutes right away, as it loses its top returning frontcourt scorer, Gavin Ware, after this season.
Schnider’s commitment continues an impressive run on the recruiting trail for first-year coach Ben Howland. After landing five-star shooting guard Malik Newman and four-star power forward Aric Holman in the class of 2015, the Bulldogs have secured pledges from four four-star prospects in the next cycle: Herard and guards Tyson Carter, Lamar Peters and Eli Wright.
Newman projects to make the biggest impact—our model projects him to average 14.2 points and 4.6 assists per game this season—but Mississippi State fans should be encouraged by how Howland has convinced top recruits to buy in to a program with a weak recent on-court track record. Herard is the latest indication Howland has the Bulldogs positioned to be more competitive in the SEC.
Among the other prospects in the class of 2016 Mississippi State is pursuing are four-star center Abdul Ado, four-star small forward Mario Kegler and four-star power forward De’Ron Davis.