A Sunday press conference at his school went as expected, and five-star forward Kris Wilkes announced his commitment to the UCLA Bruins. The No. 18 overall prospect selected the Bruins over Illinois and Indiana.
Head Coach Steve Alford as well as assistant Coach Ed Schilling made it a focus to recruit Wilkes as hard as possible for several years. Alford and Schilling both have roots in the state of Indiana, and they used that familiarity with the area to get in good with Wilkes.
"When I took my official visit there it just felt right to me," said Wilkes. "I just felt it was the perfect spot and it felt like home. All of the schools recruiting me did a great job, and I thank them very much for their interest, but I was more comfortable with UCLA."
Wilkes, who is a very high upside 6-foot-8 wing, always mentioned his comfort with the UCLA system and how he will be used in the future. The Bruins did a tremendous job of selling Wilkes on his future with the school as a wing, and with how he would improve within their system.
"I watched a lot of tape and did a lot of research into the roster, and I saw all the centers and power forwards they had on their roster so I knew I'd be playing my position," said Wilkes on what sold him about UCLA. "I was just very confident that I would develop there, and that I could reach my potential in their system."
Traditionally getting kids out of the Midwest with elite offers has been difficult and Wilkes admitted it was one of the toughest choices he has made.
"I am not going to lie, it was very hard to make this decision," said Wilkes. "I just had to do what I felt was best for me, and while it was a very difficult decision to leave I am confident I made the right decision."
This now gives the Bruins the No. 1 class in the country. Wilkes is joined in the loaded UCLA class by fellow five-star Jaylen Hands as well as four-star prospects Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, while three-star LiAngelo Ball rounds out the class for Alford and his staff.
This group is loaded with athleticism, and should have UCLA set up very nicely in the future as Alford continues to bring loads of talent in to Westwood.