Mountaineers land pledge from Esa Ahmad, No. 41 player on ESPN 100

A 6-foot-8 forward with perimeter skills, Esa Ahmad committed to West Virginia on Wednesday.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia landed a commitment from one of the nation’s top players on Wednesday when Cleveland’s Esa Ahmad chose the Mountaineers over Ohio State, Wisconsin, Maryland and Oregon.

The 6-foot-8 power forward ranks No. 41 on the ESPN 100, which would make him the highest-ranked player coach Bob Huggins has signed at West Virginia since Kevin Jones in 2008.

The commitment makes three for West Virginia’s 2015 class, following 6-10 center Levi Cook of Huntington Prep and three-star point guard James Bolden of Covington, Ky.

Ahmad’s rankings soared after a junior season in when he paced Shaker Heights in scoring (26.5), rebounds (11.5), assists (3.5) and blocks (2). He led his team to an upset of eventual state champion St. Edward in February.

His father, Ibby Ahmad, told on Tuesday that the recruit enjoyed his trip to Maryland two weeks ago but suggested the latest trip to Morgantown was enlightening:

“We got to see the new housing and how Huggins would use Esa at West Virginia. (Huggins) loves his versatility and sees him as a player that can play him at the 1, 2, 3 or 4 position.”

A look at the other ESPN 100 recruits signed by Huggins since coming to West Virginia:

2013—Devin William (No. 42)
2010—Noah Cottrill (No. 73)
2009—Denis Kilicli (No. 47), Dan Jennings (No. 60), Dalton Pepper (No. 96)
2008—Kevin Jones (No. 34), Truck Bryant (No. 90)

Ahmad is a four-star prospect, according to Rivals, which ranks him as the No. 69 recruit nationally.

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