You can never have enough guards.
After loading up in the offseason on them to piece together his first roster at the University of New Mexico, first-year head coach Paul Weir is off to a similar start in building his 2018 recruiting class, landing a verbal commitment on Sunday from four-star point guard Drue Drinnon.
“Everything about UNM was amazing and I fell in love,” Drinnon told the Journal.
The 6-foot point guard from Georgia who is playing his senior high school season at Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School was in Albuquerque this weekend on an official visit at UNM with his parents. He let the Lobos coaching staff know he would accepting their scholarship offer before he left town Sunday and broke the news publicly later in the day via Twitter.
“I am 100% committed to my future home THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO!! Go Lobos,” he wrote on a 185-word post on Twitter thanking God, all other schools and coaches who recruited him, past high school and AAU coaches and his parents, who were with him in Albuquerque on his recruiting visit.
He also specifically thanked his former high school coach David Boyd, who also coached Drinnon’s father. He added to the Journal that Boyd “has done nothing but look out for me and help me get to where I am now. If it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t have this opportunity.”
Drinnon was at Friday’s charity exhibition game in the Pit against BYU and, despite the announced attendance being just 4,902, well below its regular season average even in lean years, he was hooked.
“The Pit was crazy!” Drinnon said. “It is huge and can get super packed. I only saw a third of what the fans usually are and they made the Pit super loud.”
New assistant coach Brandon Mason was the primary recruiter for UNM on Drinnon, who is rated by ESPN.com as a four-star recruit. But, as is the case with all potential Lobo recruits, the entire UNM coaching staff played a part in the recruitment process after in recent weeks and on his official visit.
“Coach Mason was my primary recruiter, but coach Weir recruited me just as much,” Drinnon said. “They both are great guys that I know will push me to get me where I want to be.”
Drinnon told the Journal he had offers from Georgia, Dayton, Virginia Tech, Kansas State, Memphis, Florida and Western Kentucky.
He describes his game as “scrappy and unselfish.” He can score, but says he “is a pass first guard” who will make his teammates better. He also seems to fit the mold of what Weir is looking for in his locker room in that he feels he has something to prove.
“Lobo fans are getting a point guard with a chip on his shoulder that is looking to come in and win everything,” Drinnon said.
The Lobos have four seniors on this season’s roster whose scholarships will become available for the 2018-19 season — point guard Antino Jackson and forwards Sam Logwood, Joe Furstinger and Connor MacDougall. MacDougal still has not received a final ruling from the NCAA about whether he will be granted an extra season of eligibility to play beyond this season because of an injury he suffered as a freshman at Arizona State.
Next season’s Lobos roster is slated to have five seniors, including guards Chris McNeal, Dane Kuiper, Troy Simons and Anthony Mathis.
The early signing period for Class of 2018 recruits for basketball is Nov. 8-15. It is unclear if Drinnon will sign his National Letter of Intent with UNM in that period or in the regular signing period starting April 11.
Weir, nor any other staff member, are allowed to comment on potential recruits until they sign a letter of intent.