FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas signed its second basketball recruit of the spring on Thursday when 6-6 forward Demario Eddins of Chicago signed a national letter of intent to play for the Razorbacks.
Eddins, an athletic wing player, graduated from Chicago’s Julian High School in 2000 but attended Winchendon Academy Prep in Massachusetts this year to play another season and to improve academically.
“He’s a skill player between 6-5 and 6-7 who can play multiple positions,” Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson says. “He’s the same type of player as Joe Johnson. When you add a kid like him, you’re adding to your club in several different spots. He can play guard, point guard, small forward and even power forward. It’s easy to have kids like him on the floor the way we play.”
Eddins averaged 17.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists a game at Winchendon in earning all-district honors in the New England Prep School Athletic Council, one of the top leagues in the country.
Following his high school career at Julian, he was described as a “wing who slashes to the rim and can finish.” As a senior, he was named all-state after averaging 18.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game.
“He has a great upside,” Richardson says. “He played the front end of the press on his high school team. You don’t see many 6-6 high school players doing that. He’s a tremendous player. With that year at the prep school, he’s like a redshirt freshman, so he has some maturity he’ll bring in with him.”
Eddins, who also considered Illinois, New Mexico State, LaSalle and Delaware, joins a pair of Nike All-Americans in this year’s recruiting class, 6-7, 215-pound forward Berry Jordan and 6-5 guard J.J. Sullinger.
Jordan averaged 14.0 points and 12.5 rebounds at Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville, Fla., and helped his team reach the state finals each of the last two years. He led the state with a 13.2 rebounding average as a junior, set a state single-season blocked shot record and ended his career with the second-most rejections in Florida prep history.
Sullinger signed early and had an outstanding senior season at Worthington High School in Columbus, Ohio. He averaged 21.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.0 blocks in earning state co-player of the year honors and helping his team reach the regional semifinals.
The trio will be joined in next year’s freshman class by 6-10 Michael Jones, who redshirted this season. Jones, a 6-8 forward when he signed, averaged 14.3 points and 6.8 rebounds as a senior at Parkview High School, and 20.0 points and 8.0 rebounds for the Arkansas Wings AAU team.
“I really like this freshman class, especially when you add Jones in there,” Richardson says. “We have Jones at 6-10, a 6-7 jumping jack (Jordan) and two versatile swing men (Sullinger and Eddins),” Richardson says. “This is a very good class. My freshman classes used to be 6-1 and 6-2. This year, everybody is 6-5 or bigger. This class is a combination of size and skill.”