If I said this was one of the biggest Wake Forest basketball recruiting weekends in almost a decade, would you believe me? You should. Rarely do you get the chance to bring in 3 consensus Top 100 prospects on campus at the same time in the hope of adding them to an already Top 25 class. It's a far cry away from where the program was just a couple years ago, and a testament to what Danny Manning has been able to do in a short period of time here in Winston-Salem. Since 2015, the staff has landed 9 prospects who have been ranked a 4* by at least one premier scouting site. If I were a betting man, I'd put a decent amount on that number hitting double digits by the early signing period this November. Isaiah Mucius, Mike Devoe, and Nate Laszewski are a few prospects that could help get us there, and I couldn't be more excited about their arrival this weekend.
When you realize it's Friday, Homecoming Weekend, and Isaiah Mucius, Mike Devoe, and Nate Laszewski are all taking OVs to Wake Forest pic.twitter.com/uDJEJl4yZz— WFU Sports Stats (@DeacFan3) September 15, 2017
Isaiah Mucius is a highly athletic 4* wing that Wake Forest has been on for a long, long time. Danny Manning first offered Mucius back in September of 2015, which to put things in perspective was when the Class of 2016 only had two of its members verbally committed. Mucius was a priority since the beginning for this class and the staff made him feel that way with constant contact and outreach over the last two years. While he picked up plenty of High Major offers along the way, the Deacs' message of contributing early, playing in the ACC, and being a part of this fast-rising program has clearly stuck over time.
National scouting analysts have Wake trending in the right direction as well in Mucius' recruitment. The Deacs just last night picked up two more Crystal Ball predictions for the talented wing, including one from Director of Scouting at 247, Jerry Meyer. Wake now has 100% of the Crystal Ball predictions and seemingly all the momentum as we head into this weekend. Given Danny Manning's desire for athletic wings in his system and Mucius' skill set and crazy potential, this seems like a perfect fit for both sides. Isaiah Mucius can be an All-ACC type player in the Black and Gold, and a commitment in the next week or so would be the first step into making that a reality.
Mike Devoe is another Top 75 prospect that has been on Wake's radar for the better part of the 2018 recruiting cycle. His Wake recruitment has revolved heavily around his personal connections to those in the program more so than anything else. The addition of Jamill Jones to the coaching staff has done wonders in the developing connection between both sides. Jones, who's known for his premier recruiting ability, was previously in contact with Devoe at UCF prior to his switch over to Wake Forest this past May. 2017 commit and fellow Nike South Beach alum Chaundee Brown has also actively been reaching out to Devoe in the hopes of getting him on board. The Deacs have had a commit from Florida 3 out of the last 4 years, including 2 in 2015. One of those two just got drafted in the 1st round by the Atlanta Hawks. You may have heard of him by now.
The competition for the Top 75 savvy Point Guard is firm as you would expect. Georgia Tech made an impression on him during an Official Visit two weekends ago, and local UF has one scheduled for him as well during the first weekend of October. An interesting side story to follow is Florida's recruitment of three other Top 40 Point Guards for the class of 2018, two of which are on campus right now: Devon Dotson and Elijah Weaver. Meanwhile, Devoe's ability to set up teammates, find ways to get to the rim, and excellent shooting ability have made him the top PG target for Wake Forest heading into the fall. Corey Evans in an article earlier this week said he liked Wake's chances in this recruiting battle, and a commitment over the weekend would help solidify the 2018-19 Demon Deacon roster as one of the best in the ACC.
Mike Devoe tape for those Wake fans that need a refresher. Lefty PG with some great court vision and a good 3️⃣ https://t.co/CmffbLSYda— BSD (@BloggerSoDear) September 13, 2017
Finally, Nate Laszewski is making his first trip back to Winston-Salem since an unofficial visit in mid-February. A lot has changed for the NE Playaz product in the last seven months, but one thing that hasn't is Wake Forest's interest in the gun-slinging stretch 4. Laszewski had one of the hottest July AAU seasons of anyone on the circuit, and picked up offers from a number of top programs including North Carolina, Indiana, and Arizona. His final three seems to consist of UNC, Wake Forest, and Notre Dame, the former of which he visits next weekend and the latter of which he is fresh off an OV to. While a lot of the national media have Notre Dame as the favorite, Wake's longstanding relationship with Laszewski could be the difference here when it is all said and done. Danny Manning's ability to spot talent at an early stage allowed him to extend an offer last November, more than eight months before any of the schools listed above jumped in with a scholarship.
Neither Isaiah Mucius nor Nate Laszewski committed to Xavier or Notre Dame respectively on their official visits this weekend. Great news.— Riley Johnston (@BSD_RaJohnston) September 11, 2017
Laszewski would fit perfectly in this offense as a stretch 4 and Pick & Roll partner option on the floor. He's a highly efficient shooter who's mobile enough and big enough to likely guard the 3 or 4 at the next level. My guess is a commitment before his senior season is likely, but whether that school is ND, UNC, or Wake is still yet to be seen.
I can't stress enough how exciting the potential impact of this weekend can be for Wake Forest basketball. Landing two of Mucius, Devoe, or Laszewski would immediately propel Wake into the Top 20 National Team Rankings for the 2018 class and further emphasize that the Deacs are ready to make the jump into the upper echelon of college basketball once again. Few things in this world are more momentum-based than an actual college basketball game, but recruiting is absolutely one of them. It's always easier to land your 3rd or 4th Top 75 recruit than it is your 1st. Fortunately, Danny Manning has proven he's more than capable of doing just that, and top recruits around the country are realizing the unique package this school and program has to offer. So sit back, enjoy Homecoming, and stay tuned to social media and BSD over the next week. News that confirms Wake Forest is once again a premier brand in college basketball may be just around the corner...