How Would a January Arrival Work For Aminu Mohammed?

With 5-star guard Aminu Mohammed looking at potentially enrolling early to a college program this winter, we look at some burning questions about how it can happen.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — After the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions, the event where Aminu Mohammed was going to announce his commitment in January, was canceled, all options were suddenly on the table for the 5-star guard.

Mohammed's high school, Greenwood Laboratory School in Springfield, Mo., is scheduled to open its season at the Willard Basketball Classic on Dec. 3.

However, with COVID-19 putting high school basketball in question, one of Mohammed's options is graduating high school early, and then early enrolling at a university.

Mohammed is one of Indiana's top targets for the class of 2021.

Yesterday, Sports Illustrated Indiana put out a piece on how Mohammed's decision could be coming earlier than expected. Today, we provide answers to a number of questions surrounding what it would take for Mohammed to enroll early.

Is Mohammed on pace to graduate in December?

Yes, the fact early enrollment is a consideration for Mohammed means he would be on pace to graduate high school early in December.

As of last year, Mohammed held a 3.75 grade point average and has the chance to finish in the top five in his class.

Mohammed's guardian Shawn Harmon has previously said he wants Mohammed to experience things such as prom and graduation, but with COVID-19, those events could be canceled, thus making an early enrollment for enticing.

Does he need NCAA approval to enroll in January?

Yes, but in the academic sense.

If schools have a scholarship open to offer Mohammed, he just has to meet the NCAA’s and high school’s graduation requirements ahead of schedule.

As mentioned above, if Mohammed didn't have his credits and requirements in line, this wouldn't be an option for him.

Here's a snippet from Athletic Scholarships.net about high school athletes and the steps they can take to enroll early:

To graduate and enroll early, athletes need to not only make sure they meet high school graduation requirements but the NCAA’s initial eligibility requirements as well. Once an athlete graduates, even an early graduation, the NCAA allows only one core course credit to be used for eligibility purposes. And once an athlete enrolls full-time in school, their academic record is locked in.

Athletes in private schools, especially religious schools, should keep in mind that their graduation requirements might be much different than the NCAA’s requirements. If you transfer to a private, religious school from a public school for one year or semester, you should be prepared to make up a large number of courses at the school as well as doing extra work to fulfill NCAA requirements.

Does Indiana have scholarship room for him?

Yes, Indiana would have scholarship room for him to join the team in January.

If Mohammed has aspirations to enroll early, schools would have to have a scholarship open currently as opposed to after the season ends with graduating players or players leaving for the NBA.

Indiana currently has two open scholarships on its 2020-21 roster, so Mohammed would be able to take one.

Indiana's new co-associate head coach Kenya Hunter has actually been in contact with Mohammed, and the two have talked about the possibility of enrolling in January.

Aminu Mohammed, of Greenwood, puts up the shot during the Blue Jays' quarterfinal game against Hartville at Republic High School on Saturday, March 7, 2020.

Aminu Mohammed, of Greenwood, puts up the shot during the Blue Jays' quarterfinal game against Hartville at Republic High School on Saturday, March 7, 2020.

Do the other schools pursuing Mohammed have open scholarships?

Not all schools have open scholarships at the moment like Indiana does.

For example, Georgetown does not have any remaining openings on its roster. So if Mohammed wanted to enroll early, Georgetown would be off the table.

It also appears that Georgia has all of its scholarships filled as well.

If Mohammed chooses to enroll early, it could easily eliminate some schools and narrow down his options for a decision.

Could he play this season?

No, Mohammed wouldn't be eligible to play for Indiana or any other school during the 2020-21 season.

He is not reclassifying to the class of 2020 like Khristian Lander did. He is still a 2021 recruit, but he would just be enrolling early.

This happens a lot with football players.

Take last season, for example, a number of 2020 recruits enrolled early on Indiana's football team. Even though the football team had played a majority of its games already in 2019, they still had the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2, 2020.

So, the players that enrolled early got to participate in some of the Gator Bowl practices, but they weren't actually eligible to play in the game.

This would be the case for Mohammed. He would be able to practice with Indiana's team throughout most of the Big Ten season, but he wouldn't be able to play in any games.

It would help him get acclimated to college faster and would only help him become more prepared for the 2021-22 season.

Does that affect his years of eligibility?

Nope, if Mohammed enrolled early, it would not affect his years of eligibility.

As mentioned above, Mohammed is still a 2021 recruit, so he wouldn't be able to play until the 2021-22 season.

Therefore, he'd still have his normal four years of eligibility.

Greenwood's Aminu Mohammed drives downcourt as Kickapoo's Anton Brookshire chases him during the Gold Division championship game in the Blue and Gold Tournament on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019.

Greenwood's Aminu Mohammed drives downcourt as Kickapoo's Anton Brookshire chases him during the Gold Division championship game in the Blue and Gold Tournament on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019.

What are Indiana's chances to land Mohammed?

Mohammed is Indiana's top target for the class of 2021 right now.

The Hoosiers have been in constant talks with Mohammed for over a year now, and he took an official visit to Bloomington in January.

Texas, DePaul, Kansas State, SMU, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, Georgia and Georgetown have been involved in Mohammed's recruiting over the past few months.

On Mohammed's 247Sports profile, his crystal ball predicts 100 percent to Georgia, but that's from the summation of just one voter.

Two weeks ago, Mohammed's crystal ball pointed 100 percent to Indiana.

These don't always prove to be accurate. The crystal ball for Trey Kaufman was 100 percent Indiana until the day of his decision when it flipped to Purdue because a rumor got out he was going there.

Mohammed is an explosive talent. He's 6-foot-4 and rated as the No. 14 player in the country in the class of 2021, according to the 247Sports Composite.

He will be a great addition to whatever team he elects to play for.

Sports Illustrated Indiana will continue to provide updates on Mohammed's recruitment.

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Related Stories on Indiana Recruiting:

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  • LOOKING AT INDIANA TOP PRIORITIES FOR 2021 CLASS: Aminu Mohammed and Mason Miller are some of Indiana's top targets left for the class of 2021. CLICK HERE
  • INDIANA MAKES TOP FIVE FOR BRUCE THORNTON: Class of 2022 guard Bruce Thornton included Indiana in his top five schools. CLICK HERE