UPDATE: Mitchell Wilbekin has informed Blogger So Dear that he has been granted his official release out of his NLI and has been offered by Wake Forest.
Wilbekin told me earlier this afternoon, "I am blessed to have the opportunity to possibly stay with Coach Manning and look forward to visiting campus sometime soon."
Mitchell Wilbekin is a very talented 2014 guard, who initially committed to play for Danny Manning at Tulsa. After Manning accepted the head coaching position at Wake Forest, Wilbekin has began to reconsider his options for his college career. Just recently, Tulsa removed his NLI Recruiting Ban, allowing him to be in contact with other schools. He identified 3 coaches who were recruiting him the hardest: Danny Manning and Wake Forest, new Tulsa coach Frank Haith, and Tony Bennett at Virginia. Whichever team lands this talented guard will be getting a player able to play immediately and make a long term impact at the school.
Mitchell Wilbekin, the brother of Florida's Scottie Wilbekin, is a talented guard who will easily be able to impact the game. He considers himself a "scoring point guard who also likes to find his teammates and do whatever it takes to win." This combination would allow him to fit in easily at Wake Forest. He provides a different dynamic than Shelton Mitchell at point guard and also has the ability to play off-ball as a shooter. These offensive abilities would be very valuable at Wake Forest next season and for years to come.
Wilbekin's initial college decision to attend Tulsa with head coach Danny Manning revealed his true desire to play for Manning. His main reason for choosing Tulsa was his "relationship with Coach Manning and their style of play."
He further elaborated on Danny Manning, saying "I love his calm demeanor and the fact that he's played and excelled at the highest levels so I know he can develop my game." These qualities caused Wilbekin to commit to Manning before and may cause him to commit to Manning again.
With Mitchell Wilbekin back on the open market, Coach Manning has been forced to sell himself and Wake Forest to Wilbekin. Manning's biggest selling point to Wilbekin: "being able to stay with him and joining the ACC, the best conference in the country. He just said he really wants me to come to Wake Forest and they think I can help their team." While Manning has not officially offered Wilbekin yet, there appears to be serious interest there. With more time to talk to his staff and evaluate the current roster, a decision from Manning of whether to offer Wilbekin should come soon. Based on Wilbekin's comments, an offer seems very likely.
One of the few reservations for Wilbekin about Wake Forest was the presence of Shelton Mitchell. When asked if it could affect his decision, he said "yeah it could, but wherever freshmen go they have to prove themselves and earn a spot." Wilbekin may not be a starter from day one, but appears ready to earn his place on his team. Having Shelton Mitchell join as a 2014 recruit may not be ideal for Wilbekin, but it appears to be something he believes he can overcome.
Hoping to make a decision soon, Manning and Wilbekin will have to decide whether they are still the right fit for each other at Wake Forest quickly. Wilbekin said he will likely visit Wake Forest before he makes his decision, which will go a long way in determining his final decision. In the end, the deciding factor will be "Finding a good relationship with the coaches and an offense I can fit into." That place could definitely be Wake Forest and it is a place he can see himself attending. Very shortly, Wake Forest fans should know whether Mitchell Wilbekin will be joining Wake Forest as another talented piece of the 2014 recruiting class.