On Monday afternoon, Class of 2023 top 100 prospect Devin Royal announced what he is calling a final nine schools involved in his recruiting. His list is as follows: Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Miami, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Penn State, and of course, because we’re talking about it here, YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles.
Marquette offered Royal a scholarship back in October of 2021, and if that seems recent relative to the fact that he can sign a letter of intent this coming November, please remember that Shaka Smart has only been in charge for just over 15 months right now. At the time, 247 Sports had Royal as a 6’6”, 210 pound small forward and not rated or ranked in their Composite system. He was #121 in 247’s internal rankings, which bring us to his current status.
He’s still 6’6” and 210 pounds, but 247 rates the Ohio prospect as a four-star player and ranks him #76 in the country in the Composite rankings. that has him as the 14th best small forward prospect in the country and the second best player in the state behind George Washington III, a Dayton area guard who is already committed to Ohio State. Internally, 247 Sports has Royal all the way up to #78 in the country.
On 3 got a chance to talk to Royal in early June, where he noted that he has already been on an official visit to Marquette. Here’s what he said about the Golden Eagles:
“I have a great relationship with their staff. I like how they run things; Shaka (Smart) is a great coach. They like I can do whatever they need me to do, run the floor, score, things like that.”
Interestingly, Royal went on an official visit to Iowa State, but the Cyclones are not part of his final nine. As of this conversation with him, Clemson hadn’t officially offered him a scholarship spot, but the Tigers are right on in that final nine.
Let’s drop in the scholarship chart here, because the visual aid is incredibly important here.
As you can see, Marquette is working with one projected available scholarship spot for next season with Zaide Lowery already committed. NAIA grad transfer Zach Wrightsil is the only senior on the roster, so there’s no concern needed for whether or not anyone will be using a COVID bonus year to occupy a spot.
That one spot available becomes very fascinating when you look at the list of guys that Marquette has been out watching this summer already: JP Estrella, Carey Booth, Tre Norman, and Alassane Amadou are the ones that stick out in my mind. That’s four, and Royal makes five.
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask whether both sides are 100% serious about their relationship at this point, but Marquette went as far as to pay for an official visit for Royal this past school year. Since MU only gets so many every year and so many in any two year period, spending one on Royal is notable. All I can say is that I wouldn’t have said that Royal is the #1 priority on the recruiting trail for 2023 right now. We’ll have to wait and see what’s going on as we get closer and closer to November and the fall signing period.