Lavin lands Jakarr Sampson at St. John's

New St. John's coach Steve Lavin has picked up his third major recruit since taking over the Red Storm this spring -- on Thursday, Jakarr Sampson announced his intention to join St. John's starting in the 2011-2012 season.

Sampson -- 6-foot-8, 200 pounds -- is a great get by Lavin. He is the 23rd-best player in his class in the country, according to ESPNU. He chose St. John's over Louisville, Tennessee and Baylor -- very competitive company.

"Sampson is a very talented and versatile forward who excels on the break and off the dribble. He is a good rebounder and multiple position defender that reminds us of a young Scottie Pippen," reads his ESPNU evaluation. (Click here to read more.)

Lavin has already convinced California native Dwayne Polee to cross the country to play for him starting this season, and convinced Queens' Maurice Harkless to stay home and play for him the following season.

Sampson is an Ohio native, which means Lavin has already landed a major recruit from the East Coast, the West Coast, and the middle part of the country.

The early indications are Lavin could turn this program around very quickly indeed.