No. 44 Blair Surprises With Decision

DeJuan Blair is headed to the Big East. After months of twists and turns,'s No. 44 prospect in the country has ended speculation and committed.

DeJuan Blair's roller coaster recruitment ended Friday afternoon.'s No. 44 prospect in the nation couldn't say no to his hometown team. Despite repeatedly insisting he was headed out of town, Pittsburgh (Pa.) Schenley's Blair dialed up the Pittsburgh basketball office and pledged his allegiance.

"I sat down and talked to my family and friends and … I'm going to be cool here," Blair said. "I'm going to be loved and they've got a great program and I just like it here. I have to go here.

"I just want to stay home close to my family and be a hometown hero. I've been here all my life."

Tennessee, Indiana and Kansas State will be among the disappointed teams. On the surface, missing out on a 6-foot-7 power forward might not seem like a big deal. In fact, there are many who don't value Blair as a Top 100 prospect. In that respect, he's undervalued.

Maybe it's the double-knee surgery that scared some people off (for the record, he doesn't need the braces anymore). Maybe it's the size. Something caused him to be undervalued and while he continued to send out signs that he was leaving The Burgh, Dixon and Co. continued hammering away at him, refusing to be disenchanted.

This young man has a chance to be an outstanding college basketball player. Barely nipping 6-7, Blair is a warrior inside with tremendous feel for the game. He's an outstanding post passer, warrior on the glass and a workhorse. He's the kind of guy Ben Howland built the program with and Jamie Dixon loves.

If we're right about this guy, then Pittsburgh just landed a very significant recruit from the Class of 2007; one that can help define their frontcourt the next four seasons.

"I can do a lot," Blair said. "You know that. I can do a lot of things. I'm going to work my hardest and try to be a leader my freshman year. I'm just going to try and be a star – a diaper dandy!"

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