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A Look at the E.J. Montgomery Recruitment

Wake Forest is a “major player” for a top ten 2018 basketball recruit.

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

It has been speculated for a while that Wake Forest is very interested in landing E.J. Montgomery, the No. 6 overall recruit for the 2018 class, but a tweet by a recruiting analyst yesterday added a lot of fuel to the fire that the Deacs are in serious contention to land him.

Jackson is a writer for Rivals who specializes in UNC and Duke recruiting. It is no surprise that Duke, UNC, and Kentucky are in the running for Montgomery, who was recently chosen for the McDonald’s All-American game, but what is really good to see is that Wake is listed as a “major player” in the recruitment,

Montgomery was originally committed to Bruce Pearl and Auburn, but following the news that Auburn was one of the schools in the FBI probe, he chose to open his recruitment and attend a school that was not under fire.

Head coach Danny Manning visited Montgomery on December 13th and December 20th according to recruiting analyst Corey Evans, and the staff also had assistants at a slew of Wheeler’s games in September and October.

The Deacs were one of the first schools to start recruiting Montgomery hard after the decommitment from Auburn.

Duke and UNC got on him later on and have since offered.

There is no current timeline for Montgomery to announce his decision, but he has a lot of visits lined up this month.

Now, just because Wake was on Montgomery earlier than most of the blue bloods once he was available again does not mean that the Deacs are in the driver’s seat.

As we have experienced in the past with these recruitments, loyalty to the coach who is on a player early does not always win out, especially when the blue bloods come knocking later on in the process.

Right now 247Sports has Durham as the most likely destination according to their Crystal Ball predictions, with all new predictions coming in with Duke as his college choice.

Zion Williamson committed to Duke a couple of weeks ago, and while the family has said that will not impact Montgomery’s decision, they play the same position and that could become a dicey playing time situation should it come to fruition.

Wake Forest currently has the 18th ranked recruiting class according to 247Sports, but if it is somehow able to land Montgomery then it would give the Deacs the 5th ranked class for 2018. Duke is first in the class, having already signed the 1, 2, 3, and 9th ranked player in the class.

Overall I don’t have high expectations for Montgomery coming to Wake, but that is based on the recent past recruitments of high level players and not necessarily anything I know about this particular recruitment.

It is hard to get top 10 players to come to your school, especially when Duke, UNC, and Kentucky are snooping around, but the staff has done a great job to put itself in a position to perhaps land a program changing player for the Demon Deacons.

Honestly it all comes down to what Montgomery wants and what his goals are.

If he wants to be just another guy for a blue blood for a year, then Wake can’t really compete with that, but if he wants to be somebody who can deliver something that a school has never had before—-a national championship, and become a legend, then Wake becomes a much more viable choice.