Matthew Murrell entered the gym at the Reform Sports Training facility to a standing ovation from about 75 friends and family members. He wore a white IMG Academy jacket zipped up to the top.
Underneath was a red Ole Miss Rebels T-shirt, which he paired with a blue Ole Miss cap to announce his commitment to the school.
“When I went on my official visit there, it just felt like home,” Murrell said. “And they’re going to put me in a position to make it to the next level.”
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound combo guard is the No. 45 college basketball prospect in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite. Vanderbilt, Texas, Auburn and Florida also were in his top five.
He led Whitehaven to the Region 16-AAA region title and an appearance in last year’s Class AAA state semifinals before transferring to IMG Academy in Florida for his senior season.
“When he made the decision to go down to IMG, I knew that he was ready,” said Murrell’s mother, Gladys Robinson. “Because he has been building on his skill-set and his fundamentals so I knew he was all-in deep when he was willing to make the sacrifice of leaving home hundreds and hundred of miles away.”
IMG associate head coach Trey Draper said that Murrell is working on his point guard skills, but has the size to play off the ball, too.
“I think he’s transitioning now to a point guard role but honestly he can play both of them,” Draper said. “He has the size to guard a three. I usually say you are what you can guard. He can guard one through three.”
Murrell averaged 20.1 points last season and was a first-team all-metro selection.