Mercedes Russell picks Lady Vols

Updated: October 30, 2012, 6:57 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

First-year Tennessee coach Holly Warlick has landed Mercedes Russell, the No. 1-ranked recruit in the nation.

Russell, a two-time Oregon Class 5A player of the year, verbally committed to the Lady Vols on Tuesday.

"I just I just want to thank my parents, all my friends, family and coaches that have been with me from the beginning to the end of this whole recruiting process," Russell wrote on Twitter. "I've enjoyed having the opportunity to meet all these coaches & players from different schools , but it's finally coming to an end ! I'm happy to say I will be playing at the University of Tennessee !!"

Russell, a senior at Springfield High School, chose Tennessee over Louisville. Russell visited both schools over the past two weekends and announced her decision at a school assembly.

Russell, a 6-foot-6 post player, has led Springfield to back-to-back state titles. She averaged 26 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and six blocks last season.

Russell has played with USA basketball the past two summers, winning a gold medal in August at the 2012 FIBA Women's U17 World Championships.

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