Happy to be a Hawk

The Kansas Jayhawks picked up commitment number four in the Class of 2011 on Wednesday afternoon, when Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy power forward Jamari Traylor signed his national letter of intent. The 6-foot-7 prospect, a bouncy athlete, is expected to provide immediate depth to a frontcourt in need of new blood after the Morris Twins departed for the NBA.

For most prospects, recruiting is all about relationships.

Player to coach, player to player, parents to coach – they're all important. And the ones forged by Jamari Traylor during a late April official visit eventually led him to the University of Kansas, the school with whom he signed a national letter of intent Wednesday afternoon.

"The thing that really led me to decide was on my visit, I sat down with the coaches and everything had a really good feel for them," the 6-foot-7, 220-pound power forward said. "As well as me going with the players and gelling with those guys, and the campus – I liked it a lot."

After refining his game at Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy during the past year, Traylor became a hot commodity on the recruiting circuit as the Class of 2011 began to wind to a close. Ultra-athletic with a high motor, IMG basketball director Andy Borman said Head Coach Bill Self and his staff aren't just getting a great basketball talent, they're getting a great person.

"He's a kid that's easy to coach because he brings it every day," Borman explained. "And then, obviously, on the court they're getting one of the best athletes in the country that's going to help them immediately, in practice and in games. Jayhawk Nation will fall in love with Jamari Traylor just like we did here at IMG Academy."

When asked to describe his own game, Traylor spoke of his toughness, rebounding, athleticism and hustle.

They're qualities that call to mind images of junior power forward Thomas Robinson during his own prep days; a comparison likely to be made many times over by fans in the months ahead, and one the coaching staff made early on during their evaluation of Traylor.

"He's a young guy that really wants to be good," Self said, in a press release. "He's got a motor very similar to Thomas (Robinson) and he's an athlete that at 6-7 can basically guard all five positions. We think he will be an immediate and major contributor for us."

Though he isn't sure of the exact date of his arrival, Traylor plans to be on campus in Lawrence next month for the start of summer school, getting acclimated to college life and beginning his basketball career. After wrapping up a couple of final spring classes at IMG, he expects to be qualified academically and ready to go.

Like many prospects who reach the end of this process, Traylor is glad to have things finalized.

"It's been a lot of tug and pull on me, as far as media and everybody asking me what my decision is going to be - just people period asking me," he said. "It's kind of like a weight lifted and I'm really excited to be a Jayhawk next year."

Traylor picked Kansas from among a final list of schools that also included Indiana, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.


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