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For the second time this year Stanford gets an historic commitment

Harrison Ingram announced his commitment to Stanford Friday to end a highly competitive recruiting process that saw the Cardinal defeat Purdue, Michigan, North Carolina, Harvard and Howard for the No. 9 overall recruit in the 2021 class.


The word "unprecedented" has been overused for all the wrong reasons in 2020, so you can understand why Stanford fans are ecstatic that for the second time this year they can apply that word to an historic accomplishment by Jerod Haase, Adam Cohen, Jeff Wulbrun and Jesse Pruitt.

Ziaire Williams is on campus right now and he still holds the title of the highest ranked recruit to ever commit to Stanford. Ingram is a very close No. 2 on the list and both versatile forwards are projected to be potential "one-and-done" players. Recruits in that tier had previously been thought of by Stanford fans as uncatchable unicorns.

The fact that Stanford will sign a player of that caliber in consecutive classes is, obviously, unheard of in modern history.

Ingram is a perfect fit for the style of play and culture implemented by Haase and his staff. Rivals national basketball recruiting analyst Eric Bossi had this to say about Ingram when the latest Rivals 150 was updated for the 2021 class:

"Programs at all levels spend a lot of time discussing culture and character. I don’t know anybody in the class of 2021 who is a better example of what any coach would want from a player in those regards than Harrison Ingram. A versatile forward who ranks No. 9 overall, Ingram isn’t the best of athletes in the class and he isn’t the best shooter. But, he defends extremely well, is among the best passers regardless of position and is an ego free player who does any and everything to win. I see a highly successful college career and several years at the professional level in his future because his work ethic is just as strong as his talent."

If that sounds familiar it's because many of the characteristics that Bossi highlights about Ingram are at the core of the Stanford team.

The work ethic of Stanford's coaches was once again showcased in this recruiting win.

Cohen took the lead in building a relationship with Ingram and Stanford hosted Ingram multiple times during the past two years. Well before he was ranked as a top-10 recruit, Cohen and Haase made sure Ingram knew that's how they saw him and that Ingram was their top priority.

Stanford has been in a strong position for Ingram going back to last year but at no point did the Cardinal pull away to open up a commanding lead in this race. However, back in July Rivals' then recruiting analyst Corey Evans ranked Stanford as the No. 1 contender:

"There was a point earlier in the spring where Ingram was this-close to committing to the Cardinal. That time has come and gone, but Isa Silva, Stanford’s most recent recruiting win and a top-25 guard that has developed a strong relationship with Ingram, has evolved into Jerod Haase’s best recruiter. Ingram values an education more than others, which enhances Stanford’s chance."

Silva became a critical player in this story from the moment he committed. He'd already established a relationship with Ingram and continued to build on it while drawing a picture for Ingram of how they could team up together to lead a powerful offense.

More than a year before he will suit up for the Cardinal, Silva has completed what could end up being the most important assist of his career. That recognition will be revisited if Silva sets up the game-winning basket to send Stanford to the Final Four one day, or better.

Stanford is set up to be a contender for that level of the tournament in the near future because of the impressive recruiting work by Haase and his staff.

Williams leads a talented four-man class that is joining a roster that returns every key player except the special talent of point guard Tyrell Terry. Stanford will have to find a way to replace his playmaking ability but for the first time in a while there doesn't appear to be a shortage of options.