Five-star point guard recruit Tyger Campbell announced via his Twitter account late Friday, Sept. 2 that he is no longer committed to DePaul and will re-open his college recruitment process.
“First off, I would like to thank DePaul University and the city of Chicago for their show of love and belief in me,” Campbell Tweeted via iNote around 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 1. “After great consideration and with the full support of my family, I have decided to open my college recruitment effective September 1st. I am thankful to all the coaches, colleges, friends, and family that have stood by me during this journey. I am ready to embark fully into this process and make a well-informed decision on where I will attend college.”
The 5-foot-11 point guard from La Lumiere High School in La Porte, Indiana shocked the basketball world in May when he verbally committed to become a Blue Demon on Twitter, despite fielding offers from several more prestigious basketball schools around the country. Campbell aimed to reclassify to the class of 2018 so he could start playing for the Blue Demons during the 2018-19 season.
This is a blow to a DePaul program that had put together a nice body of work in the recruiting department this offseason. Aside from Campbell, the Blue Demons landed Illinois transfer Jalen Coleman-Lands and Northern Illinois graduate transfer Marin Maric.
Campbell would have been DePaul’s first five-star recruit since Quentin Richardson in 1998, filling a huge hole at point-guard left by Billy Garrett Jr.
In May, DePaul announced that former La Lumiere head coach Shane Heirman was hired as an assitant coach for the men’s basketball team. Heirman coached Campbell at La Lumiere, which was a factor in Campbell’s initial commitment to DePaul.
“I happened to fall in love with DePaul, so it was cool (Heirman) works there because I look up to him,” Campbell told the Chicago Tribune.
Campbell and Heirman’s connections to one of the top high school basketball programs in the country looked like a game changer for DePaul’s recruiting office. For a program that stuggles to recruit in their own backyard, tapping into the fertile recruiting ground of the midwest will be key for the Blue Demons finding their way out of the Big East basement.
On Sept. 3, one day after Campbell publicly withdrew his commitment, his family posted a note to his Twitter account, to express their appreciation to the university and left the door open for Campbell officially committing to DePaul.
“We love DePaul University and the men’s basketball program,” the Campbell family wrote. “Coach Leitao and his staff exemplify the highly coveted traits of integrity, loyalty, and perserverance. We are in awe of their support and we believe in them. We look forward to his official visit.”
Campbell could still find his way to Lincoln Park when he signs his letter of intent, but DePaul will have to convince the five-star recruit that rebranding DePaul as an NCAA heavyweight is worth more than chasing titles with programs already basking in the winners circle.
Per NCAA regulations, DePaul’s athletic staff cannot comment on Campbell while he remains unsigned.