Big performance propelled Harrell

Montrezl Harrell and J.P. Tokoto made college news in the same week, but it isn't the first time that the two have been linked in a big story.

It isn't like Montrezl Harrell was an unknown before the Tournament of Champions in May of 2010, but he definitely wasn't a household name on the national radar. To be fair, he wasn't even supposed to be after the event either, but a first round matchup changed the track of his recruitment.

Fans and scouts alike were planning to take in the action at the Dean Smith Center on the campus of North Carolina hoping to get a good glimpse of J.P. Tokoto. Tokoto was seen as an elite player in the 2012 class and already possessed offers from Duke and UNC.

With that everyone wanted to get a look at a guy who was supposed to be lighting up Tobacco Road for years to come. Instead they got a shocker and saw an athletic beast mode power forward steal the show.

That player was Harrell. Harrell dropped an impressive 29 points compared to Tokoto's 13, and did so with a combination of strength, athleticism, and hustle that you rarely see. Though slightly undersized at 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds, Harrell proved that he could be a force.

Harrell in essence gave his best Trevor Booker impersonation. Booker, who played his ball at Clemson, averaged over 15 points and eight rebounds per game for the Tigers while becoming an All-ACC player as a senior.

With a domination of a highly rated player in his back pocket, and a success with his body type and skill set already in the league, Harrell's stock was clearly on the rise. Schools like Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, South Carolina, and Clemson would all offer. Also in time the Duke Blue Devils would also show interest. However at the end of the day it was the Hokies that stood out in his mind.

Harrell committed to Virginia Tech only weeks after seeing the Hokies beat Duke in a charged atmosphere, and that gives Seth Greenberg and his staff a great start to the 2012 class coming off of an impressive 2011 group.

In the 2011 class Greenberg and company have the perfect complement to Harrell. While Harrell is a slightly undersized yet beastly power forward, they have Dorian Finney-Smith already in the fold. Finney-Smith is the exact skilled, long, and athletic player who will fit in perfectly next to Harrell.

For a team that is annually sweating it out on Selection Sunday, Virginia Tech is looking to bring in the players who will put them firmly into the tournament. Right now Greenberg and his staff seem to be doing a good job of that.

Harrell currently ranks as the No. 49 player in the 2012 class, but you can rest assured that he has his sights set on the nation's No. 42 prospect. That is Tokoto. After their encounter nine months ago where the two were never thought of in the same light, and now they will both be suiting it up in the ACC for years to come. Virginia Tech hopes that with today's news, history repeats itself in that matchup.

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