Julian Royal, the 6’8″ Georgia Tech transfer, has chosen to come to George Mason. Royal had a visit to the campus over the weekend and the former Paul Hewitt recruit chose the Patriots over Vanderbilt. He will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2013-2014 by NCAA transfer rules. It is a huge get for the program and Royal becomes one of the highest rated recruits to ever play at George Mason. He was ranked 69th overall by ESPN back in 2011 and had a four star rating on Scout.com. Hewitt recruited Royal back when he was coaching at Georgia Tech and convinced him to come even after he had chosen Georgia first. Royal elected to stay there even after Hewitt was fired and obviously he fell out of favor with the new coaching regime. Hewitt’s relationship with Royal dates back to when the recruit was 11 years old and it’s obvious their strong relationship played a large role here.
Looks like Hewitt worked his recruiting magic again and now the Patriots will have a very strong front court presence in 2014. Royal has an excellent inside and out game and is very capable of knocking down three-pointers, he shot over 37% his freshman year. Some might say he was over-hyped as he was the number one rated player in the state of Georgia coming out of high school but it’s too early to make that statement. Especially when you consider the coach he was playing for did not extensively recruit and scout him as closely as Hewitt did. Hewitt originally hand-picked Royal for his system and hopefully he can maximize his talent and ability in Fairfax.
Over-hyped or just under-utilized, Royal will now have a year to work on his game and get better. After losing both Jonathan Arledge and Johnny Williams after this upcoming season, bringing in Royal to fill the void will help ease the transition of breaking in the 2014 recruiting class. The Patriots will have a lot of new faces on the roster at that point and it will be a huge bonus to plug in a veteran forward.
Here is what ESPN recruiting said about him when he was coming out of high school:
“Royal is a skilled big forward that can score inside and out and also causes match up problems. Royal can has a nice back to the basket scoring package. He can also knock down mid range jumpers to the arc and drive by less mobile forwards with ease. Royal is a good defensive rebounder and can make the right pass when the defense collapse on him.”
There isn’t a whole lot of tape from his college career but he’s a video with a few highlights:
And here are some of his high school highlights: