The future appears bright for LSU basketball, and the early signing period brought some major news to first-year head coach Johnny Jones on Wednesday when three of 247's Top 100 prospects from the 2013 class sent the Tigers their signed letters of intent.
Jarrell Martin was a huge coup for Johnny Jones
The three signed National Letters of Intent on the first day of the early signing period – 5-star forward Jarrell Martin of Madison Prep in Baton Rouge; 4-star forward Jordan Mickey (Prime Prep) of Arlington, Texas; and, 4-star guard Tim Quarterman of Johnson High in Savannah, Ga.
The class is headlined by Baton Rouge's Jarrell Martin, ranked as the No. 7 small forward in the country and the No. 21 prospect in the Top247.
"You have to go back to 2007 when LSU recruited Anthony Randolph to name a LSU recruit as highly ranked as Jarrell Martin," 247Sports National Basketball Analyst Jerry Meyer said. "It is amazing the job that Johnny Jones has done recruiting since taking the job. It resembles what Mark Gottfried has done recruiting-wise at North Carolina State."
Also signing a Southeastern Conference Aid Agreement was center John Odo of Nigeria, who is presently at Hill Junior College. Odo is scheduled to enroll at LSU in January and because of that does not sign a national letter of intent.
The signing class is receiving national raves from the recruiting experts with 247sports pushing LSU to fifth on its national recruiting rankings.
“This class consists of four young men of exceptional talent that will allow us to continue to compete in the highest level in the near future,” said Coach Jones. “The versatility of this class is what we were looking for from the beginning. We are excited about the future of LSU Basketball.”
Martin chose LSU over such schools as Alabama, Baylor, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, UCLA and St. John’s.
“Jarell Martin is an exceptional talent who has the ability to play both outside and inside,” said Jones. “With his ball handling, passing and ability to score, he will be able to create opportunities for other players on his team. He could be a difficult matchup for our opponent.”
Jordan Mickey is ranked as the No. 11 power forward for the 2013 class and the No. 29 prospect in the Top247. Georgia native Tim Quarterman is ranked as the No. 16 point guard and the No. 78 prospect in the Top 247.
“Jordan Mickey has an exceptional knack for scoring inside and out,” the first-year LSU coach noted. “He is a tremendous passer and his ability to rebound and defend both the post and perimeter positions will allow us to utilize him in multiple positions.”
Another four-star selection, Quarterman is a multi-purpose athlete who can play anywhere on the perimeter.
Quarterman, 6-5, 185-pounds, averaged 17.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists as a junior. He chose LSU over Georgia, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Oklahoma and Texas, among others.
“Tim Quarterman is a great playmaker and his height will allow him to play the 1, 2 and 3 offensively. He also will have a great defensive presence for us,” said Jones. “His basketball IQ will allow him to step in and compete at this level right away.”
Odo, a 6-10, 230-pounder, will graduate from Hill College (Texas) in December, where he earned honorable mention junior college All-American honors after averaging 12.4 points and 14.2 rebounds a contest. He will have two years of eligibility remaining for LSU beginning with the 2013-14 season.
“John Odo will be a great addition to our team with his ability to defend in the post and rebound,” Jones commented. “He will also be a great back to the basket low post scorer that will give us a much needed true center.”
Jones' first signing class looks to provide the Tigers with a combination of size and athleticism that should bode well on a young team that will run an up-tempo offense every night out.
"The most impressive aspect of LSU's recruiting class is its' size and athleticism," Meyer said. "All five recruits are over 6-foot-6."
Note: Shea Dixon contributed to this report.