VCU coach Will Wade scored another recruiting victory this week when four-star point guard Lavar Batts Jr. announced his decision to sign with VCU, following his official campus visit on Saturday. Batts is the 99th-ranked recruit in the class of 2017 according to ESPN. He also had offers from Oklahoma, Butler, Clemson, Georgia, Florida State and Nebraska.
This marks the second consecutive year that Wade has been able to get a top-100 recruit to sign. Incoming freshman forward De’Riante Jenkins was the No. 59 player in the class of 2016.
Batts is a bit undersized for a guard at 6’2, 170 pounds, but that has not hindered his explosiveness and his ability to get to the rim. He averaged 20.7 points, 5 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game during his junior season at J.M. Robinson High School in Concord, N.C. and helped carry his team to the 3A state title.
He will have a chance to step in and contribute immediately for VCU next season at the point guard spot. Senior JeQuan Lewis will be the Rams’ starting point guard this season following the graduation of leading scorer Melvin Johnson. Batts’ signing ensures that the future of the VCU back court is in good hands.
Lavar Batts Sr. told the Richmond Times-Dispatch about coach Wade’s relentless recruitment of his son:
“(Wade was) everywhere we were this summer. (Lavar Jr.) had a great relationship with Will Wade. Coach Wade has been on him for about six or seven months and has been recruiting him hard. We got (on campus for the visit Saturday) and just fell in love with the whole atmosphere. The coaches are great. The academic program — he wants to go into sports medicine. … It seems like it’s a great fit on and off the court.”
The early signing period begins Nov. 9, and NCAA rules prohibit coaches from commenting on recruits until they have officially signed.