Bruce Pearl's Auburn basketball program came away with another big-time basketball recruit for the class of 2020 by turning to a familiar source.
Having pulled Isaac Okoro and Babatunde Akingbola in 2019 and five-star guard Sharife Cooper in 2020 from McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga., the Tigers went back to the well on Thursday and added 6-foot-10, 220-pound center Dylan Cardwell.
Cardwell is a three-star recruit according to 247Sports and is a top 150 recruit in the nation according to the 247Sports' composite rankings. In the age of social distancing, Cardwell’s commitment came with a video posted to his Twitter account.
"The wait has been long enough," Cardwell said in the video. "But first, I want to thank God for blessing me and putting me in the position I am today. Thank you to my beautiful mother and my two brothers ... for always having my back and being my biggest supporters. Also thank you to my grandparents and the rest of my family because Lord knows it took a village to raise me.
"Thank you to all my supporters and followers for being patient for my decision. It hurt not being able to play in front of you guys this past year, but I promise I will make it up to you. Thank you to all the coaches along the way who took time out of their day to help me develop. Thank you to all the coaches who recruited me, but sadly I can only choose one school. So with that being said ..."
Cardwell paused to put on an Auburn hat and said:
"I'll be attending Auburn University. War Eagle."
Pearl also tweeted following the announcement. Before retweeting Cardwell’s post, Pearl simply tweeted, “Boom!”
Cardwell shouldn’t have much trouble getting used to his ‘new’ teammates. He never played for McEachern last season following his transfer from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, but seems familiar for the McEachern stars who have already made the move to Auburn.
Okoro and Cooper each tweeted their approval of the decision by quoting Cardwell’s initial tweet. Okoro added “My guy #WarEagle.”
In addition to the high school connection, Cooper and Cardwell played on the same AAU team as Devan Cambridge.
Beyond the court, 247Sports’ Jason Caldwell reported that he his the nephew of Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner and was in attendance for the ‘Kick Six’ in 2013.
Cardwell will now look to make his own memorable plays in a Tiger uniform.
Cardwell’s commitment continues the reshaping of Auburn’s roster after the departures of its top six scorers and minute earners with seniors Danjel Purifoy, J’Von McCormick, Samir Doughty, Anfernee McLemore and Austin Wiley along with a projected NBA lottery pick in Okoro.
The Tigers now have five incoming freshmen for next season with Cooper, three-star guard Justin Powell and three-star power forward Chris Moore having signed their letters of intent. Cardwell joins four-star power forward JT Thor as players who have committed to Auburn.
The Tigers are currently scheduled to open the season on November 10 at Auburn Arena against North Alabama.