Four-star power forward Royce Hamm commits to Texas

Shaka Smart, Texas reeled in their first pledge in 2017 with the addition of Texas native and athletic forward Royce Hamm.

2017 power forward Royce Hamm verbally committed to Texas, Shaka Smart on Friday, he told Scout.

"First off it’s close to home," Hamm said when asked about his pledge. "My family can come see me and it’s a great program. I love the connection I’ve built with coach Smart. It was great."

What stood out about his relationship with Smart?

"It was just different," he said. "Some of the assistants would offer me and then I'd only hear from them and just every now and then. With coach Smart it was consistent. He consistently called me and it’s great relationship that I have with him."

Hamm, who took at least three unofficial visits to Texas, said he also considered Baylor, Houston, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and a host of other schools.

Through 7 games in the Nike EYBL playing with Nike Pro Skills, Hamm is averaging 10.9 points and 6.1 rebounds a game.

"They do a lot of running," Hamm said about Texas' offense. [I'll be a] stretch four, pick and pop type of guy. When I enhance my ball handling I’ll play some on the wing.

Hamm is regarded as a four-star prospect and ranked No. 17 at the power forward position in the 2017 class.

It's evident that Smart and his staff are making it a priority to recruit the state of Texas, as three of their four pledges in 2016 hailed from the state, including their last two five-star commitments -- Jarrett Allen and Andrew Jones. 

"I feel like that’s good," he said about Texas' recruitment of Texas natives. "I know most of the players there and I think I can go there and click with the player and the coaches." 

Texas, who is coming off a top five recruiting class in 2016, is looking to sign a big class of four, possibly five players in 2017. Hamm, of Houston (Tex.) Davis, is the Longhorns first pledge of the class.

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