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It’s a well-known secret that college coaches try and position themselves to leave lasting impressions on elite prospects by strategically being the last school to have said recruit on campus just prior to his commitment.

The impact of that timing can potentially prove to be monumental.

Score one for Houston coach Kelvin Sampson, who finished up an official visit with IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) forward Jarace Walker on Sunday and earned his commitment on Thursday.

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Walker picked the Cougars over Auburn and Alabama.

It certainly didn’t hurt Sampson’s chances that Walker got to meet Cougars’ legends turned NBA Hall of Famers Hakeem Olujuwan and Clyde Drexler during his visit; still, Sampson’s quick-hitting, spacious offense, which caters to players with Walker’s skill set, was the likely culprit in the end.

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At 6’8”, Walker is a big and strong combo forward who thrives off his versatility and creates mismatches because of his mixed bag offensively.

Walker’s athleticism and motor enable him to check off a lot of boxes on both ends of the floor, even the ones that don’t show up on the stat sheet.

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His agility and sense of urgency will serve him well in Sampson’s system.

This past summer, Walker starred for Team Thrill (Md.) and helped IMG Academy capture the GEICO Nationals title in 2019.

The Ascenders are one of the favorites to win GEICO Nationals again this year with Walker, Jaden Bradley and Keyonte George in the lineup.

Walker joins Bishop McLaughlin Catholic (Spring Hill, Fla.) shooting guard Emanuel Sharp and
Beaumont (Texas) United wing Terrance Arceneaux to form Houston’s 2022 haul thus far.