The three include centers Ty Walker of Wilmington, NC (New Hanover) and Tony Woods of Rome, GA (Rome) along with forward Al-Farouq Aminu of Norcross, GA (Norcross).
The three are considered among the top prep basketball players in the country. Rivals.com has called the trio the best recruiting class in America. Scouts Inc. calls Wake’s class of newcomers the number five class in the country.
“Skip (Prosser) did a great job of putting this recruiting class together,” said Gaudio. “The way these young men have stayed with Wake Forest through a difficult time says a tremendous amount about their character and who they are as people. These are the types of young men that will thrive at an institution like Wake Forest.
“They come from great families and great basketball programs. The experiences that Tony and Farouq have had with the Georgia Stars and coach Norman Parker have benefitted them tremendously.”
Aminu is a 6-8, 205-pound forward at Norcross High School who has been rated as one of the top 10 college basketball prospects in the nation by several scouting services and one of the top two small forwards among the current crop of high school seniors.
Aminu helped Norcross to three straight 5A state championship games. The Blue Devils won the Georgia Class 5A state titles in 2006 and 2007 after finishing as the runner-up in 2005. Norcross finished the 2006-07 season ranked 12th in the nation by USA Today.
“Al-Farouq, having played for legendary coach Eddie Martin at Norcross High, comes in with a state championship as a junior and knows how to win,” said Gaudio. “He is a multifaceted player who can play inside as well as outside. Al Farouq will be one of the most talented freshmen to ever join the Wake Forest program.”
Walker is a 7-0, 220-pound senior at New Hanover High in Wilmington. Walker averaged 15.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.4 blocked shots per game as a junior in leading the Wildcats to a 29-4 record and the 4A state championship. Walker, who played for head coach Linc Lyles, was named the North Carolina Boys Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year in 2007.
“Ty also has great credentials, having played for Linc Lyles and Franklin McMillian at New Hanover High,” said Gaudio. “Ty is also coming off a state championship in his junior year. He can have an immediate impact on the defensive end of the floor with his shot-blocking ability.”
Woods is a senior at Rome High School in Rome, GA where he plays for head coach Keeth Jones. He earned Rome News-Tribune All-Area honors as a junior while averaging 15 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots per game.
“Having played for Keeth Jones at Rome High School, Tony will come in with great fundamentals,” said Gaudio. “He may be the most hard-nosed freshman coming into the ACC next year. He will be an impact freshman for us in this conference next season.”
The Deacons are expected to have nine returning scholarship players in 2008-09.
Bios on Wake Forest’s men’s basketball signees:
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF -- 6-8, 205 -- Norcross, GA/Norcross
Rated the No. 9 prospect in the country by Hoops Report.com and Prepstars.com and the #11 prospect in the class of 2008 by Rivals.Com . . . Scout.Com picked him as the fifth-best player in his class . . . Ranked fourth in his class by Hoopmasters.com . . . Played summer ball for Norman Parker on the Georgia Stars where he was a teammate with Tony Woods . . . Invited to the Jordan Game and participated in the Elite 24 High School Showcase at legendary Rucker Park in New York City . . . Brother of Georgia Tech basketball player Alade Aminu . . . Scored 14 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in a nationally-televised game against Oak Hill Academy . . . Has a 7-2 wing span . . . Chose Wake Forest over North Carolina and Georgia Tech . . . Played for coach Eddie Martin at Norcross High . . . Played summer basketball for Coach Norman Parker of the Georgia Stars . . . Son of Anjirlic Aminu.
Tony Woods, C -- 6-10, 230 -- Rome, GA/Rome
Ranked the 70th-best prospect in the class of 2008 by Prepstars.com . . . Hoops Report.com has Woods as the number 28 player in the country and he is 55th by Scout.com . . . Ranked 18th by Rivals.com . . . Invited to the Jordan Game . . . Played summer ball for Norman Parker on the Georgia Stars where he was a teammate with Al-Farouq Aminu . . . Ranked 37th by Hoopmasters.com . . . Considered Alabama, Georgia and Florida before deciding on Wake Forest . . . Plays for coach Keeth Jones . . . Earned Rome News-Tribune All-Area honors as a junior . . . Averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots per game as a junior . . . Played summer basketball for Coach Norman Parker of the Georgia Stars.
Ty Walker, C -- 7-0, 220 -- Wilmington, NC/New Hanover
Led New Hanover to the 2007 4A state championship . . . Averaged 15.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.4 blocked shots per game as a junior in leading the Wildcats to a 29-4 record and a championship game victory over Charlotte Vance . . . Wears a size 19 shoe and has a 9-5 standing reach to go with a 7-6 wing span . . . Named the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year in North Carolina in 2007 . . . Had 12 points and eight blocked shots in the championship game . . . Considered a prolific shot blocker and defensive standout . . . Rated the No. 22 prospect for 2008 by Hoops Report.com . . . Is Scout.com’s No. 14 recruit nationally . . . Considered the best shot-blocker in his class nationally . . . Helped New Hanover to the championship of the Chick-fil-A Classic in Columbia, S.C. with wins over regionally-ranked Dunwoody, Ga. and nationally-ranked Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) . . . Played for coach Linc Lyles as a sophomore and junior and Franklin McMillian as a senior.