Michigan coaches have received their first commitment from the 2014 class, and it's a big one. Fort Myers (Fla) Bishop Verot big man Ricky Doyle (6-9), who's been picking up interest around the country, pledged to the Wolverines on his official visit.
Bishop Verot head coach Matt Herting informed TheWolverine.com of the commitment via text.
Miami, Notre Dame, Purdue, Ohio State and Boston College had reportedly offered, while several other high majors were recruiting him heavily. Doyle rode under the radar for much of the summer, spending most of his time playing regional AAU ball.
"Coach B.A. [Bacari Alexander] came over this summer, watched me play for a couple summer games at nationals," Doyle reported in November. "Coach [John] Beilein came to open gym to watch me play. After that we went to talking about the school, how they're really interested.
"We talk to coach Beilein a lot. He's a great guy and a really good coach, a good person to talk to. Coach B.A., too - he's a funny guy, and he made a great first impression."
Doyle's visit over the weekend was his first. Even so, the Wolverines had been picking up steam. Head coach John Beilein watched one of his games last month, after which we heard rumblings that Michigan has moved to the top of his list.
"Of course I know about Michigan," Doyle said after acknowledging his recruitment had just gotten started in the fall. "I've watched college basketball growing up, and I know Michigan vs. Ohio is a big rivalry, stuff like that. I just haven't looked into it that much. I really plan to in the upcoming year, but I like what I've seen of Michigan. It's a great academic school and a great basketball school, too."
Doyle said distance wouldn't be a factor, and that proved true.
"I would say my strengths are my ability to go inside and out, post up or go to midrange, drive in and my ability to use both hands, but mostly I work on my leadership on the court," he said. "I want to be a good teammate first."
"He's a great back to the basket player, and I mean great," Bishop Verot head coach Matt Herting said last fall. "He's very good with either hand. He's aggressive, but he's not selfish down there in the post. He's really good feeling a double team and kicking it out, really good giving it up when he doesn't have anything and sealing for the reversal, all those things. He is only going to continue to improve over the next two years."
Doyle averaged around 13 points and seven rebounds per game as a sophomore for a 22-8 Bishop Verot squad, doing most of his damage close to the basket. He averaged 21.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.6 blocked shots and .9 assists per game this season. He comes from a basketball family - his dad spent a short time with the Detroit Pistons before playing overseas - and he's a good athlete for his size.
He might get undersold due his physique, Herting noted - "he's a big, gangly young kid with a size 18 shoe and a 7-2 wing span" - but he can get off the floor and he runs the floor well.
Doyle earned looks from several programs this summer while playing with his high school team on the AAU circuit.
"He has a really good understanding of playing with nine other guys on the court," Herting said. "That's going to be a big advantage when he gets to college. A lot of guys get it and go, but he's a very patient post player, very smart, understands how to make other guys better. He knows when he does and when he doesn't have a shot."
Catch Doyle's summer film below ...
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