After a solid showing at the Peach Jam in South Carolina, Country Day’s Matt Derenbecker returned to Metairie ready to put an end to his recruitment.
“I just felt like [Thursday] was the day to do it,” he said. “I had just gotten back from Peach Jam the day before, and I felt like it was time to go ahead and commit. There was no need to drag things out.”
The 6-foot-5, 185-pound guard joins Mississippi power forward Jalen Courtney as first two commitments to head coach Trent Johnson’s 2010 class.
Johnson and his staff, Derenbecker said, have the LSU program headed in the right direction – which is why he wanted on board.
“The staff just made me feel comfortable with everything throughout the process,” he said. “I saw how loyal they are to each other, and you know that the assistant coaches are not going to leave the program for a head coaching job. Everyone is loyal to coach Johnson, and that was big.
“Also, after the season that they had last year, I know that the coaches and players have LSU headed to the top,” he added. “How coach Johnson motivated those guys who were not even his recruits was great. [Johnson] told me how they could continue to turn things around with me, and that made me feel really good.”
What were the other major factors that played into the early decision?
“Distance was a big one, because I have been here all my life,” he said. “Eddie Ludwig being over there already was also a big pull. And the last straw was the team and how they treated me during a pick up game we had. They were awesome with me, and it was not fake at all.
“I guess you could say the players were what pushed me to make the call,” he added. “I got along really well with everyone, and it was the comfort level I was looking for from the program.”
With offers in from Georgetown to Stanford, Derenbecker’s coast-to-coast recruitment ended not far from where it began. The next step, he said, is championships.
“I want a state championship first,” he said. “Then I want a national championship at LSU. Coach Johnson told me that today was the start of something special, and I am ready to make that a reality.”