Lodge is a Hawk

On Wednesday afternoon, Saint Joseph's got their second commitment of the 2014 class when senior forward Markell Lodge chose the Hawks. Hawk Hill Hardwood spoke with the hyper-athletic 2014 forward about his decision.

6'7 Pace Academy (NC) power forward Markell Lodge made his college decision Wednesday afternoon in a ceremony at his high school. "We had a thing at school today where pretty much the whole school came into a room with me and my teammates," he started. "I had a Stephen F. Austin shirt and I took it out. One of my teammates said, ‘I thought you didn't like purple.' That's when I took out the St. Joe's shirt and put it on."

Lodge, who ran with Team Loaded over the summer, took an official visit to St. Joe's earlier in the month. "As soon as I got there for the visit, the guys took me under their wings. It was like a brotherhood right away," Lodge began. "Chris (Wilson) showed me around a lot, and he and I had a bond right away because we're both from North Carolina. On the visit, I felt like I was already at St. Joe's."

While the St. Joe's visit went very well, Lodge decided to take one more visit. Over this past weekend, he made to trip to Texas to officially visit Stephen F. Austin. SFA, St. Joe's, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, and Murray State made up Lodge's final list.

While Lodge made the trip to Stephen F. Austin this past weekend, he already had a good feeling about Hawk Hill. "To be honest, I had a pretty good idea after the visit (to SJU)," Lodge stated. "My mom and dad and I talked about it, and I prayed a lot about it. Every time I prayed about it, I just kept hearing ‘St. Joe's, St. Joe's.' But my mom and dad said to take just one more visit to be sure, so I did."

With Ron Roberts and Halil Kanacevic graduating from the Saint Joseph's frontcourt, there is a definite void there. Markell Lodge will help fill that void beginning next season. The athletic, tough, and high-motor forward has been compared by numerous scouts and others to current Hawk Ron Roberts.

Scout's national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels had this to say about Saint Joseph's second 2014 commitment. "What Lodge brings to the table is effort and energy every time he steps on the floor. Athletically he's very gifted. He also runs the floor extremely well, is active in the paint looking to grab rebounds and contest shots."

Markell Lodge joins Cardinal Hayes (NC) point guard Shavar Newkirk in SJU's 2014 recruiting class to date. Forward Melvin Swift begins his official visit to Hawk Hill tomorrow, and guards James Demery and Peyton Allen also appear to be closing in on decisions. Markell Lodge's commitment Wednesday could give the Hawks some momentum on the recruiting trail heading into what is a pivotal week. Is it possible that another North Carolina native becomes a Hawk?

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