Now the UNC staff, which had been recruiting Padgett since his freshmen year of high school, will focus all of their efforts on Wisconsin big man Brian Butch, who is scheduled to take his final official visit this weekend to the home-state Badgers. Butch is also considering Arizona, Kansas and Marquette and will likely make his decision in the next month.
Padgett kept his decision under wraps for virtually the entire process and had almost everyone guessing. In fact, each school thought they had a legitimate chance at landing the agile power forward right down to the end.
In the end, Padgett couldn't turn down Roy Williams and his staff.
Several Kansas-based television stations first reported the commitment on their 10 p.m. news shows Tuesday evening.
Padgett averaged 23 points, 14 rebounds and 8 blocks per game as a junior, but was unable to finish the season because of a dislocated kneecap he suffered when someone stepped on his foot.
The post player has a variety of low-post moves around the basket and is deceptively strong. He's widely considered one of the top 15 players in the Class of 2003 – and is one of the premiere big men in a class with few quality frontcourt players.
Padgett has gained more than 20 pounds in the past year, but his father and coach, Pete, feels he needs to become more active on the offensive glass. Padgett played for the Pump ‘N Run team out of California on the AAU circuit, but he didn't play many events this past summer.
Pete Padgett is a longtime high school coach in Nevada who spent one season at as an assistant coach at UC Santa Barbara before returning to the prep ranks at Reno High.
For much more on Padgett and his recruitment, IC subscribers can check out the David Padgett profile.