Roughly twenty-four hours before his show-cause penalty was set to expire, coach Bruce Pearl scored a major commitment from ESPN 100 small forward Danjel Purifoy, giving Auburn a huge boost of momentum heading into what was already expected to be a big weekend.
Pearl's three-year penalty is set to expire Saturday at midnight, marking the first time he'll be allowed to have any communication with potential recruits since he accepted the Auburn job in March.
That didn't stop him from reeling in one of the most explosive forwards in the country. His staff was out in full force through the July evaluation period, and made no secret of its intent to prioritize Purifoy while also developing inroads to his AAU program, Atlanta Xpress, an Under Armour-sponsored grassroots program that is annually one of the most talent laden in the Southeast.
Purifoy, who is the 50th-ranked prospect and 10th-best small forward in the ESPN 100, made his commitment in dramatic fashion, surprising the crowd at the Under Armour Elite 24 dunk contest live on ESPN 3.
Auburn now will look to ride that wave of momentum as soon as the clock strikes midnight Friday, beginning with an immediate unofficial visit from another ESPN 100 product, power forward Horace Spencer.
Pearl will undoubtedly look to get on the phone with as many top recruits as possible Friday and Saturday before culminating his weekend with an elite camp that was specifically scheduled to coincide with his first opportunity to communicate with recruits.
Purifoy is an explosive 6-foot-7 forward who thrives in the open floor and will consequently be an ideal fit in the up-tempo pressing system that Pearl has historically utilized. He was also being recruited by Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee to varying degrees.