Five-star power forward Watford commits to LSU

Five-star senior Trendon Watford announced his commitment to LSU on Monday.

Watford chose the Tigers over Alabama, although Memphis and Indiana were also on his final list.

For much of the Alabama native's recruitment, it was a three-way race between LSU, Memphis and Alabama. All three schools were involved early in the process, and Watford took multiple visits to each. LSU faded following Will Wade's suspension back in March, but once Wade was reinstated, the Tigers regained control. Alabama did its best to keep him home, both under Avery Johnson and Nate Oats, while Memphis used its 13th scholarship last week when five-star forward Precious Achiuwa committed to the Tigers. Watford's brother, Christian, played at Indiana, but the Hoosiers were never truly involved in this recruitment.

A 6-foot-8 forward from Mountain Brook High School (Alabama), Watford is ranked No. 19 in the ESPN 100 for the 2019 class, slotting in as the No. 6 power forward. He earned McDonald's All-American Game and Jordan Brand Classic selections this season, and impressed during the practices and workouts -- prompting ESPN's draft experts to move him up to No. 15 in their 2020 mock draft.

Watford averaged 17.2 points and 8.0 rebounds on the Nike EYBL circuit last spring and summer, and averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds during his high school career.

Watford is the key to LSU's 2019 recruiting class, as he joins a two-man group that included four-star guard James Bishop and junior college transfer Charles Manning Jr. Expect Watford to start immediately for the Tigers as a potential one-and-done prospect.

Wade and the Tigers are facing uncertainty entering the final weeks of May. They had six players declare for the NBA draft -- and only Javonte Smart has announced his intentions to return to Baton Rouge. Naz Reid and Tremont Waters are expected to remain in the draft.