The Texas Longhorns just upgraded their 2018 recruiting class in a big way, landing 4-star small forward Gerald Liddell on Thursday.
He announced his commitment on Twitter:
The 6'6" and 175-pound Liddell has a lean frame but a big game. He's considered Scout.com's No. 33 player in the class of 2018 and the No. 9 small forward. The scouting site broke down his game:
"Liddell is very thin and certainly a long way from where he'll need to be physically, but of course he also will enjoy more years of high school to develop his physique. Already, he possesses a soft, arching jump shot that's fairly accurate from medium-range. He's also quick to the ball with nice reflexes and makes some dribble moves—even going left—that suggest big things down the road."
He's also versatile, however, as he described to Evan Daniels of Scout.com.
"In the summer [for Nike EYBL's RM 5 Elite] I'm more of a wing guy but being the tallest player on my [high school] team, my coach kind of asks me to get in there and rebound a lot, do some dirty work that I usually wouldn't be doing in the summer," he said. "So I just do that and really everything for the team. Bringing the ball up, creating for others and creating for myself, too."
The ability to both make plays on the wing and bang down low on the boards is a nice skill set to have, though if he doesn't bulk up at the college level, it's hard to imagine Liddell making a major impact on the interior.
Nonetheless, his shooting and shot creation surely have Texas excited about his upside. As the strength and size comes, Liddell could turn into an impact player.
Shaka Smart continues to hit home runs in recruiting. In 2017, he landed 5-star center Mohamed Bamba and four 4-star prospects. In 2018, Liddell is the current jewel of the class, though the Longhorns likely aren't done wooing exciting young players.
For a Texas program looking to return to prominence under Smart, the future appears to be very bright.