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INTEL: Recruiting update for four-star Zayden High

On3 imageby:Jamie Shaw10/11/22

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Zayden High is the No. 55 player in the 2023 On3 Consensus. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 12.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks playing for the JL3 program during Nike’s Peach Jam. He also knocked down 1.0 three per game during the event.

High seemingly burst out of nowhere in April during EYBL Orlando. It was there he averaged 21.7 points while shooting 57 percent from the field. He also went head-to-head against the No. 1 player in 2023, GG Jackson, and finished with 27 points.

Now a senior at Chandler (AZ) AZ Compass, High started high school as a guard, around 6-foot-1. He is now a skilled 6-foot-10 forward. His growth, physically, has been consistent, as he finished his sophomore year of high school around 6-foot-6.

So while it may have seemed that he came out of nowhere, it more so had to do with Zayden High being a late bloomer. At 6-10, he maintained the shooting touch and the fluid dexterity of a guard, which is another reason why he is a consensus four-star.

Throughout his process, High picked up close to 25 D-I offers. He added 15 high-major offers since that April event. In early October, High announced his final five schools; Michigan, Villanova, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Texas.

The four-star has taken three official visits, Villanova (6/23), Michigan (7/26), and UNC (9/30). So as we go through this intel to rank the contenders, we will start with those three schools.

North Carolina

UNC was High’s last visit. He has also been public about him having the best time on that visit. There is a system fit and playing time available.

Villanova

Villanova got High’s first official visit when he and his dad went up just before the July live period. High speaks highly of the system fit and the relationship with the coaching staff.

Michigan

Of these schools, Michigan was the first to offer. Juwan Howard was the central figure in the recruitment. The visit went well, and there is a lure with Howard’s success with bigs.

Final thoughts

This one seems like a three-team race that, with time, has dwindled to one – with the possibility of a second program lurking. UNC first started with High in April; when he went for 27 against then UNC commit GG Jackson. However, they did not offer because they did not have a scholarship open. Once Jackson de-committed, UNC turned full force toward High.

UNC is showing High film of Brady Manek, when Manek show 16-of-24, 67 percent, from three in the Tar Heel’s run through to the NCAA Tournament finals. Manek averaged 18.3 points and 8.1 rebounds in those six games. High spoke highly of the tradition and the facilities around the UNC program. With Pete Nance set to graduate, High could come in to compete for playing time right away.

Villanova caught High with its tradition. They have had good success with bigs who can shoot, especially with their development of guards who deliver timely and precise passes. The question at Villanova is can High compete for playing time early on, or are they asking him to look at redshirting? Villanova has yet to get a player in the 2023 class but is young and slated to possibly have ten return next year.

Michigan is interesting here. Zayden High was able to bring his entire family on the visit with him. Juwan Howard has had a lot of success with bigs, and the relationship Howard has built with High is real. However, Michigan is also set to return a lot next year. The Wolverines also feel they are in a good spot with center recruit Papa Kante and guard George Washington.

He does not have a commitment date set, and he says he wants to visit Arkansas before his commitment. It serves to be monitored if he does set, and take, that Arkansas visit. However, until then, UNC is trending in this recruitment.

While there are still a couple moving pieces which is why I am not quite ready to put in my expert pick into On3s Recruiting Prediciton Machine, things are moving in that direction. Watch for UNC as the current leader in the clubhouse for Zayden High, but do keep an eye on Arkansas.