Justin Edwards announces commitment to Kentucky Wildcats
July 27, 2022
After picking Kentucky over Tennessee on Monday, five-star wing Justin Edwards gave the Wildcats a verbal commitment. 247Sports ranks Edwards as the No. 2 player in the class of 2023 and the third-highest ranked player in the group. Robert Dillingham is also a potential top-30 pick.
"It really just came down to me following my dreams and I have always seen myself playing for Kentucky, that was a childhood dream of mine," Edwards said.
Due to the reclassification of GG Jackson, Edwards is now one of the top players in the class of 2023. He is also a potential top-10 pick in the state of Kentucky. One of the other players that the Wildcats are keeping an eye on is DJ Wagner.
Regardless of where the 6-foot-7 ends up in the final standings, he significantly impacts the 247Sports Team Rankings. As a result, Kentucky has jumped up to the second place. While Duke is still at the top of the rankings, Wagner's commitment could make a difference.
Before narrowing his list down to Tennessee and Kentucky, Edwards had also considered other schools such as Kansas, Auburn, Maryland, and the G League. The 6-foot-7 wing from Imhotep Institute is regarded as one of the top minor forwards in the class. He holds a 247Sports Composite ranking of .9980.
Edwards averaged 18.3 points and 8.3 boards per game during his junior season. His strong performance helped him move up the 247Sports Player Rankings in May. He is currently ranked as the third-highest player in the class of 2023.
According to a recent review by Travis Branham of 247Sports, Edwards is a versatile player who can play multiple positions. He is capable of shooting from the outside and making plays inside. He also has an impressive offensive skill set that allows him to attack the basket anytime.
"Edwards is the most versatile player in the class when he shoots all cylinders. He is a six-foot-long wing and has athletic prowess who can dribble, pass and shoot with a polished attacking pack that is capable of go and attack his own at any time and can bounce back and defend at a high level," said Branham.
What makes Edward choose Kentucky
After the Kentucky Wildcats lost to Saint Peter's in the first round of the NCAA tournament, there were some concerns about the team's recruitment. However, despite the season's disappointing end, John Calipari's recruitment has remained strong. This is because Edwards' commitment shows that the Big Blue Nation still has a lot of faith in the coach.
Edwards cited the program's success in getting players into the NBA as one of the factors that influenced his decision to commit to Kentucky.
"Just seeing all of the people that went to the NBA from there," said Edwards. "My overall goal was to go to the NBA and I have seen how successful he has been with wings."
The team's 2022 class was led by two five-star prospects, Chris Livingston and Cason Wallace. However, it finished 14th in the 247Sports Team Rankings after losing out on some of the top players in the country. With the additions of Edwards, Dillingham, and Reed Sheppard, Kentucky is now in the hunt to finish as the top class in the country again.