Nutt's men's basketball recruits confirm they're coming

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Southeast Missouri State did not announce any men's basketball signings Wednesday as the NCAA's weeklong early signing period got under way.

But it appears as if coach Dickey Nutt still will land the two touted high school seniors from Memphis, Tenn., who recently gave Southeast verbal commitments.

Telvin Wilkerson, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound shooting guard at nationally ranked Melrose High School, said via text message that he signed with Southeast on Wednesday.

Southeast's compliance office apparently had not received Wilkerson's letter of intent in time to approve it and for the university's athletic department to make an official announcement, which is expected today.

Nino Johnson, a 6-8, 225-pound power forward at perennial national power White Station High School, said he plans to sign with Southeast on Monday during an official ceremony at his school that will include two of his teammates signing with other programs.

"We set it up to do it together the [Nov.] 15th," Johnson said. "I'm definitely still coming [to Southeast]."

Wilkerson and Johnson are rated as three-star recruits on a five-star scale by rivals.com. Both had scholarship offers from quite a few major programs, according to various recruiting websites.

Johnson recently was ranked the nation's No. 17 high school power forward by ESPN's college basketball recruiting website -- above Scott County Central's highly regarded Otto Porter. ESPN rated Johnson as a four-star recruit on a five-star scale.

Johnson, who averaged about 10 points and seven rebounds as a junior last year, said Auburn, Cincinnati, Charlotte, DePaul, Georgia Tech, Mississippi, Missouri State and Murray State also offered scholarships.

Johnson's White Station team went 28-9 and finished as the Tennessee Class AAA state runner-up last year. The squad featured guard Joe Jackson, among the nation's top recruits.

Wilkerson plays for a Melrose squad that is among the nation's top-rated high school teams and features three top-100 national prospects, so he often gets overshadowed.

Wilkerson averaged about seven points, four rebounds and three assists per game as a junior last season.

He shot 57 percent from 3-point range (20 of 35), 50 percent from the field overall and 73 percent from the free-throw line.

Melrose went 36-4 last season and won Tennessee's Class AAA state title, beating Johnson's White Station club 75-70 in the championship game.

Wilkerson said he received scholarship offers from the likes of Missouri, Iowa State, Nebraska and Penn State.

Nutt is prohibited by NCAA regulations from commenting on prospective recruits until the university receives and approves letters of intent.

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