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Austin Wiley to Auburn: Tigers Land 5-Star PF Prospect

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2015

Photo Credit: 247Sports

Austin Wiley, one of the top power forwards in the Class of 2017, announced Saturday that he plans to play college basketball at Auburn.

Jeff Borzello of ESPN confirmed the coveted recruit's decision. Phillip Marshall of 247Sports reports Wiley is following in the footsteps of his parents, who were both basketball stars with the Tigers, because it's the place that made him most comfortable.

"It's just the place, the atmosphere, the fans, the coaching staff," Wiley said. "Everything seemed perfect. For me, it's the perfect place to play basketball."

The son of Vickie Orr Wiley and Aubrey Wiley also told 247Sports that the vibe he received from Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl played a key role in the choice.

"It's the way he motivates," he said. "Even if you're down, even if you have an off night, it's the way he motivates and his passion for the game. The year before he came, it seemed like it was dead, no life in the building. Then this guy comes. People came to every game, sold out. He has to be special to do that."

Wiley is a 5-star prospect who ranks as a top-25 prospect and the No. 7 power forward in the 2017 class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. The recruiting outlet also notes he received nine offers before making his early decision.

Sam Vecenie of CBS Sports is extremely bullish on the rising star's potential:

Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie

FWIW on Austin Wiley, that’s a kid with legit NBA potential going to Auburn. 6-9, but with a 7-4 wingspan. Things have changed in the SEC.

One thing that will be intriguing to watch over the next couple of years is his height. Wiley is bit undersized right now, but he's obviously got plenty of time to grow. If he can get to 6'11'' and add some more power to his frame without losing his athleticism, the sky's really the limit.

Although he's committed to Auburn, the recruiting job isn't done for the Tigers. They must continue to make him feel wanted as a key piece of the program's future until he officially signs, which Marshall noted won't be until November 2016.

For now, however, Pearl and Co. can celebrate a terrific addition to the 2017 class.

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