Jonathan Williams III, the Memphis Southwind star Tennessee had been recruiting, committed to Missouri on Thursday night, but the decision didn’t surprise recruiting analysts who had predicted he wouldn’t sign with the Vols.
Williams, a 6-8, versatile forward, had Tennessee listed among his final five schools along with the Tigers, Georgetown, Michigan State and George Mason. He chose Missouri, Williams told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, because the Tigers’ work ethic matched his own.
"It's just a great situation," Williams said. "I went to their workouts, saw their workouts, and they work extremely hard. I know they're gonna do big things this year and then next year when I get there."
Tennessee’s No. 1 recruiting target, Austin Nichols of Memphis Briarcrest Christina, is still at large, and he visits the Vols this weekend. Nichols, a 6-9 forward who has an inside-outside game, is rated a five-star prospect by nearly all the recruiting analysts.
Nichols will take a final visit, to Auburn, after his trip to Knoxville, and he hopes to make a decision, possibly on ESPNU, during the early signing period in November.
Recruiting analysts trying to predict where Nichols might go point to his familiarity with Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin and his staff, his friendship with five-star guard Robert Hubbs, who has already committed to the Vols, and the fact his twin sister Ashley already attends Tennessee.
Besides Hubbs, the Vols already have two other commitments—from 6-0 point guard Travon Landry, who’s from Alabama but is attending Huntington (W.Va.) Prep this year, and 6-8 forward A.J. Davis of Buford (Ga.) High School. Both are considered three-star recruits by Rivals.