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5-Star PF Brandon Huntley-Hatfield Commits to Tennessee, Reclassifies to 2021

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2021

IMG Academy's Brandon Huntley-Hatfield #4 is seen against The Patrick School during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic, Saturday, January 18, 2020, in Springfield, MA. IMG won the game. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Tennessee received a marquee commitment Thursday from 5-star power forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield.

High school and college basketball recruiting reporter Joe Tipton reported that Huntley-Hatfield told him he had committed to the Volunteers and is reclassifying from the 2022 class to 2021.  

Prior to reclassifying, Huntley-Hatfield was ranked as the No. 6 overall player in 247Sports' composite rankings for 2022. He was also listed as the top power forward and the best player out of the state of Pennsylvania.

The 6'9", 230-pound post player is a high-energy, two-way contributor who should be one of the best rebounders in the class. His offensive versatility has grown to include an outside shot, and he sports the length and athleticism to guard multiple positions defensively.

Huntley-Hatfield, who transferred from the famed IMG Academy to the Scotland Performance Institute in the middle of his high school career, generated interest from several top programs.

In August, he explained in a Sports Illustrated blog he wanted to take his time making the right choice.

"It's a big decision to pick a school to spend at least nine months of your life, and in that time it could determine whether or not you achieve your ultimate goal," Huntley-Hatfield wrote.

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As his comments suggest, if his development continues at its current rate, he'll likely be a one-and-done college player before heading for the NBA draft.

Huntley-Hatfield should be an instant-impact performer for head coach Rick Barnes and the Vols. It's too early to say whether that'll be as a starter or the first player off the bench, but he should still see plenty of minutes as a freshman in either role.

Either way, it's a major pickup for Tennessee that will help provide hype ahead of the 2021-22 season.

Tennessee has qualified for the NCAA tournament in each of the past three years it has been held, and with Huntley-Hatfield in the fold, the Volunteers could be in line to go on a deep run next season if he is as good as advertised.