Haanif Cheatham chooses Marquette

Marquette and Steve Wojciechowski added another consensus top-100 recruit on Friday when Floridian Haanif Cheatham verbally committed to the Golden Eagles.

“Marquette really stood out to me,” Cheatham said. “Coach Wojo really showed love from day one. Since then I really felt the connection from Coach Wojo and Marquette University.”

Cheatham, the 51st-ranked high schooler on 247 Sports, breezes across the court with balance and headiness and holds the ability to slash to the hoop or shoot an accurate pass to cutting or open teammates. At 6-5, 185 pounds, he possesses a size advantage over many shooting guards, although he’s projected as more of a wing once he adds bulk to his frame. As a former point guard, Cheatham handles himself on the court with superior court vision and passing ability, allowing himself to showcase his advanced basketball IQ and categorize himself as a trustworthy, team-oriented player whose impact stretches far beyond game-to-game statistics.

Below is Cheatham’s highlight tape from the Nike Global Challenge over the summer, first linked in the Paint Touches article covering his commitment.

Haanif (pronounced Hah-neef) catalyzed his stock during the summer recruiting period, utilizing his talents to draw scholarship offers from multiple prestigious basketball programs, including Georgetown, California, Tennessee, Alabama, Kansas State, Miami, and others. Overwhelming attention from Marquette’s Coach Wojo and his assistant Brett Nelson (a former All-American at Florida) pushed the Golden Eagles into his final list of three schools, alongside Georgetown and California. However, many signs had indicated that Cheatham intended to take his talents to Marquette from months before his decision, a notion culminated in 18 of 18 predictions pointing in the Golden Eagles’ direction on 247 Sports’ Crystal Ball feature.

Cheatham’s commitment adds to an impressive 2015 recruiting class that includes in-state recruits Matt Heldt (ranked as low as 130th on 247 and as high as 56th on Scout’s recent rankings update) and Nick Noskowiak (72nd on 247, 89th on Scout). Coach Wojo has also picked up two transfers in Minnesota’s Wally Ellenson and Loyola Marymount’s Gabe Levin, whose eligibilities begin in the 2015-2016 season. The Marquette coaching staff hopes to fill their last available scholarship with Rice Lake’s (WI) Henry Ellenson, a consensus top-20 recruit (and 5th-ranked prospect on ESPN). Ellenson’s top three schools list includes Kentucky, Michigan State, and the Golden Eagles, and he has visits scheduled for Marquette on September 26th and for the Spartans on the 20th. Should Ellenson commit to Marquette, Coach Wojo’s first recruiting class would move from 10th to 2nd in the nation, according to 247 Sports’ Jerry Meyer.

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