Watford Makes It Official - He's Headed to IU

It's official - Christian Watford has committed to the Hoosiers. The 6-7 1/2, 215-pound forward pledged to IU Coach Tom Crean during an in-home visit today in Birmingham, and he talked to Scout.com first about his pledge...

Bloomington – Tom Crean got the answer he wanted from Christian Watford.

The Hoosier coach spent the afternoon and evening with the 6-7 ½, 215-pound forward at his Birmingham, Ala., home, and midway through the visit Watford told Crean he was headed to Bloomington.

"They just stayed on me and they never did back off," Watford told Scout.com's Evan Daniels tonight. "They stayed the same throughout and they never did change. They knew they were behind after I visited Louisville, but they stayed on me and kept on pushing me. I went up there and I fell in love with it."

Watford is Scout.com's 72nd ranked player in the 2009 class and he joins Derek Elston, Jordan Hulls, Bobby Capobianco and Maurice Creek in a five-player class that should be ranked as a top-5 or top-10 class nationally. Four of the members of the class are ranked in Scout.com's top 100 (Creek, Watford, Hulls and Elston), making IU one of only two schools with that many top-100 commits (North Carolina-5).

Watford, who averaged 22 points and 14 rebounds as a junior at Shades Valley Technical Academy, is expected to be a combo forward once he arrives in Bloomington next fall. He has long arms and is adept at blocking shots when he defends in the paint, and he has the versatility offensively to play on the perimeter or with his back to the basket.

"He's a long versatile hybrid forward that runs the floor well and is capable of scoring inside and out," Daniels said. "This is another piece to an already strong class."

Crean first made in-roads with Watford when he was the head coach at Marquette, thanks in large part to Seltzer's roots in his hometown of Birmingham. After Crean and Seltzer relocated to Bloomington this spring, their interest in Watford only intensified.

A May trip to Bloomington for the Adidas May Classic got Watford thinking seriously about IU as a potential destination, while the family's trip to IU two weeks ago for the Elite Camp went a long way towards convincing Watford and his family that IU was the right place for him.

"On our way back home (from the elite camp) we talked about Coach Crean, his honesty and his integrity and how he related to us as a family and related to Christian," Ernest Watford said.

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