It's not too often that a player commits to a school without even seeing the place, but that's exactly what happened with Arkansas and Seminole, Okla., State point guard Jabril Durham.
Durham (6-1, 180) pledged to the Razorbacks on March 13 – brightening a day when the Razorbacks lost to South Carolina in the SEC Tournament in Atlanta.
He finally got around to taking his official visit to Fayetteville this past weekend and came away even more confident in his decision to sign with the Arkansas during the month-long spring signing period that opens Wednesday.
"I feel even better about my decision after seeing Arkansas and could tell it is the perfect place for me," Durham said. "It just has everything I am looking for in a school both on and off the court.
"I already loved the coaches, but I got to see this weekend just how big a family it is with the Razorbacks," Durham added. "The facilities are great, the academic center and support are great, but it's mostly my new teammates that I bonded with instantly this weekend."
Durham averaged 21 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds this past season for Seminole and chose Arkansas over Oklahoma State, Marquette and others.
The coaches shared their vision of what his role would be again this weekend.
"They are bringing me in to play and bringing me in to be a leader right away," Durham said. "I can shoot the ball, I can distribute it, I can play defense, but I also pride myself as being a leader on the court and making sure my teammates are where they need to be.
"That's not just on the court," Durham added. ‘I want to lead by my actions and my words off the court as well. I want to be somebody that guys look up to and I want to always make the right decisions that will earn that respect."
Durham – who is from Desoto, Texas and spent his freshman season at Lubbock Christian — is one of six new players for Arkansas next season, including fellow point guard Anton Beard of North Little Rock.
The Razorbacks also signed 6-10 center Trey Thompson of Forrest City and 6-5 shooting guard Nick Babb last fall while West Virginia transfer Keaton Miles will be eligible next season while Texas Tech transfer Dusty Hannahs will redshirt next season.
"I actually know Dusty because I played my freshman year at Lubbock Christian, which is just a few miles down the road from Texas Tech," Durham said. "I have also known Keaton since I was 12."
He got a chance to meet all of the returning players this weekend and also got to play a little pick-up basketball with them.
"I hung out with Bobby (Portis) and Keaton and the other guys and they just took me right in and there was a quick bond with those guys," Durham said. "We also had a chance to play so I got to see their games and they got to see how I played. I think we are all going to mix very well."
Durham admitted to having some chills when walking into Bud Walton Arena for the first time this weekend.
"I kept thinking this place is going to be amazing when all the fans are in here and packing the place out and I'll have the ball in my hands," Durham said. "I started thinking back to watching the Arkansas-Kentucky game last year and thinking this is what it is all about."
Durham will be back in just a little over a month for summer school.
"I will be here for both the first and second semester because I want to get to know my new teammates both on and off the court and continue that bonding process," Durham said. "I'll be here on May 20th and just start pointing to the season."
Durham Confident in Arkansas Pledge
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