4-Star C Prospect Jalen Smith Commits to Maryland over Villanova

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2017

Credit: Scout.com

Maryland has added a potential impact player in the 2018 class in 4-star center Jalen Smith.

The Baltimore native announced his decision to stay local on his Twitter account:

Smith is considered the No. 31 overall player in the country by Scout.com, including the fourth-best at his position.

The 6'9" player visited Maryland over the weekend and was "pretty close" to committing on the spot, per Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun. It took only one more day of consideration before making his final decision.

He will also join former Mount Saint Joseph teammate Darryl Morsell, who is set to join the Terps next season as part of the 2017 class.

"He's like one of my deciding factors, going there to play with him again," Smith said of Morsell.

Smith was the Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior, averaging 17 points, nine rebounds and three blocks per game. His athleticism and raw tools allow him to make an impact in the post on both ends of the court, while also showing some offensive versatility to score from the outside.

Of course, he will need to add some strength and gain consistency in order to make a similar difference at the next level.

Considering his upside, however, this is a big move for Maryland to keep a local player home and continue what could be a big 2018 class starting with Smith and Scout 4-star guard Aaron Wiggins.

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