Monday, Rick Pitino got his man.
Harrell's coach, A.W. Hamilton, told Scout.com Monday morning that the talented forward has decided to play for Louisville next season. A four-star prospect ranked among the Scout.com Top 100, Harrell is a major late addition to the Cardinals 2012 recruiting class, which also includes four-star Shaker Heights, OH point guard Terry Rozier.
"He's going to play for a Hall of Fame coach and have a chance to win a national championship and at the same time be with coach Keatts, who he has a great relationship with," Hamilton said.
One of the top unsigned players in the Class of 2012, Harrell signed with Virginia Tech last fall, but was granted a release from his letter of intent this spring after Seth Greenberg was fired following a subpar season.
That opened the door for Louisville, who had a strong connection because of assistant Kevin Keatts relationship with Harrell's family. Keatts recruited Harrell to attend Hargrave (VA) Military Academy before joining Pitino's coaching staff last summer. Keatts' relationship helped Louisville land Harrell's first and only visit after he re-opened his recruitment this spring.
Harrell's best game as a senior came against Fishburne (VA) Military when he had 18 dunks in a 51 point, 17 rebound, six block performance to lead Hargrave to a 122-119 overtime victory. In three National Prep Championship contests, Harrell recorded 69 points and 36 rebounds, including 31 points and 18 rebounds in a 79-75 quarterfinal win over Northfield (RI) Mount Hermon.
Rated the No. 72 prospect nationally, Harrell won MVP honors at the Capital Classic and Jordan Brand Regional All-Star games this spring. The 245 pound forward finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots in the Jordan Brand Classic and posted a game-high 24 points and eight boards in the Capital Classic, a game that featured 10 ACC signees.
A powerful forward with a 7'1 wingspan, Harrell is a physical inside presence who should make an immediate impact for Louisville, a team that enters the 2012-13 season as one of the preseason favorites to win the NCAA championship. Though Chane Behanan and Gorgui Dieng are penciled as starters, Harrell should provided needed frontcourt depth behind the Cardinals two established frontcourt stars.
With his college plans finalized, Harrell heads to Colorado Springs, Co., for the Team USA Under-18 National Team trials June 5-12, where he'll be coached by Billy Donovan.
After receiving his release from the Hokies, Harrell also drew interest from Florida, UConn, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Alabama and NC State.