by Craig Allen Brown
After weighing offers from multiple schools, including Mississippi State University and the University of Alabama, Grayson High School’s Tyrese Elliott signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, North Carolina. The signing occurred at the Athlete’s Foot in Atlanta.
Elliot signing to North Carolina A&T is noteworthy because it echoes other top athletes’ recent signings to HBCUs. For decades, most top African-American athletes would not seriously consider attending an HBCU, based on the notion that the schools were not as athletically competitive as predominantly white institutions. However, that notion might be changing.
Via Twitter, Elliott thanked those institutions that recruited him, but insisted he was “110% committed” to the A&T Aggies.
“I wanna thank all the coaches that offered me to come to their school but sadly i can only make 1 choice. With the being said, I’ll be continuing my academic and athletic journey by committing to the North Carolina A&T family. #Goaggies”
Elliott starred for the Grayson Rams after transferring from Sparkman High School in Harvest, Alabama. The 6’2” point guard led Grayson to a 20-9 record and a deep run in the Georgia state playoffs, which resulted in a second-place finish in Region 4.
At A&T, Elliott will pair with another highly recruited prospect, Duncan Powell. Powell was a four-star recruit, and is the highest-ranked prospect to ever play for the Aggies. The 6’8” forward from DeSoto, Texas also turned down multiple offers from larger institutions to play for North Carolina A&T.
Jackson State University is also playing a significant role in the successful recruitment of top athletes to HBCUs. After NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders took over as Jackson State’s head coach, one of his first major recruits was his son, Shedeur Sanders. Shedeur Sanders was a four-star recruit, who spurned the University of Alabama and the University of Florida to attend Jackson State.
The Tigers most recently made headlines with the acquisition of two football players in the annual ESPN 300: Travis Hunter and Kevin Coleman; both players were the number one ranked football players in their states (Georgia and Missouri, respectively).
Hunter, a defensive back, was the consensus number two recruit in the country, which added to the initial shock of his commitment Jackson State.
On Tuesday, Jackson State’s Ameshya Williams-Holliday became the first HBCU player to ever be drafted in the WNBA, when she was selected in the third round.