When Colorado State hired Jase Herl as an assistant basketball coach earlier this offseason, there was hope that the former South Plains College assistant might bring a few of his talented players with him to Fort Collins. Herl began that process with the addition of wing Che Bob, who will provide the Rams an athletic and versatile replacement for the graduated Joe De Ciman.
Herl may not be done with additions from South Plains, as a class of 2017 target is also giving the Rams a strong look.
Combo guard Raquan Mitchell, a former three-star who signed with Memphis in 2015, bonded with Herl when he transferred from Memphis last fall and joined the South Plains program. Herl was back at South Plains last week on a recruiting trip to check in on Mitchell.
"I've known Jase for a year and a half," Mitchell told InsideTheRams.com. "I know that he always takes care of me. I trust him."
Mitchell initially committed to Texas A&M as a high school senior at Miami (Fla.) Southridge, but flipped his pledge to Josh Pastner and Memphis a few months later. After not seeing the court as a freshman at Memphis, Mitchell decided to part ways with the Tigers in December. He eventually joined South Plains and redshirted last season.
Certainly, his relationship with Herl is a big reason he is considering the Rams. As a matter of fact, the Rams lead a host of suitors for Mitchell's signature.
"Colorado State," he said, referring to his recruiting favorite. "It's just my relationship with the coaches and stuff. They're showing me a lot of love."
The 6-foot-2 guard claims offers from Colorado State, FIU, Florida State, La Salle, Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M, UCF, and Western Kentucky.
CSU head coach Larry Eustachy has made sure Mitchell knows he is a priority for the Rams.
"Coach Eustachy has called me, like, three times. We talked and he told me how I'm their main target and they really want me, and how I'm the guy that they're looking for. He said I'm the guy he's looking for."
Mitchell admitted to not knowing much about the CSU program, but his relationships with Eustachy and Herl are a key factor in his recruitment. He will take his first official visit to Colorado State this weekend. He has not yet scheduled any other official visits.
His focus during the upcoming visit will be to see how the staff is in person, his interactions with the players and how Fort Collins fits his preferences. Provided his official visit to Colorado State goes well, there is a chance he commits to the Rams.
"Chances? Probably seventy, eighty percent," Mitchell said of the likelihood he pledges to CSU after this weekend.
The explosive playmaker has no timetable on announcing a commitment. Mitchell will sign his letter of intent during the early signing period for basketball, which begins on November 9.