Rick Barnes has continued to get Tennessee basketball trending for some elite recruits in 2022 after already securing one elite commitment and putting together the greatest recruiting class in school history for 2021. Now he’s got the Vols in the running for another prospect, one from the Central Florida area.
Rocky Top made the top 10 for center Ernest Udeh Jr. of Orlando. A student at Orange County, Fla.’s Dr. Phillips High School, Udeh stands at 6’10” and weighs in the range of 220 to 235 pounds. Analysts for him are mixed, as he’s only a three-star on Rivals, but he is a five-star on 247Sports and a four-star on ESPN, so it’s safe to consider him an elite prospect.
Joining Tennessee basketball on Udeh’s list are the Florida Gators, Miami Hurricanes, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Alabama Crimson Tide, Baylor Bears, Kansas Jayhawks, Michigan Wolverines, UCLA Bruins and Overtime Elite. He announced the schools Monday on Twitter.
Udeh including the Vols on his list comes just over a week after UT made the cut for two other elite prospects for 2022 in forward Julian Phillips and guard Jalen Hood-Schifino. We wrote about both players here.
Right now, the Vols’ only commitment for 2022 is four-star guard B.J. Edwards. With Brandon Huntley-Hatfield a likely one-and-done prospect and John Fulkerson entering his final year of eligibility, Barnes will definitely want to bring in some competition in the post to look for starters next tear. Udeh would certainly provide that.
Assuming those two leave, Barnes will have veterans in Olivier Nkamhoua and Uros Plavsic and then promising young talent in Jonas Aidoo and recently reclassified seven-footer Handje Tamba to compete for playing time in the post. Adding Udeh would make sure he’s got solid depth.
There are currently no favorites to land Udeh on the Rivals Future Cast or the 247Sports Crystal Ball. However, Tennessee basketball is the favorite on the Rivals Fan Future Cast, albeit by a plurality. As a result, the Vols definitely have a chance to get Udeh, and doing so would be another elite pickup for Barnes.