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Texas coach Chris Beard lands 2022 commitment from five-star forward Dillon Mitchell

Texas coach Chris Beard now has two commitments for the 2022 recruiting class.

For all the work Texas coach Chris Beard has done in the transfer portal, he hasn’t forgotten how to land high school recruits. The star system still works.

The Longhorns scored a massive recruiting victory Monday when 6-foot-7 forward Dillon Mitchell, a versatile five-star standout from the basketball powerhouse Montverde Academy in Florida, committed to Texas. 

“My heart told me this was the place to be,” Mitchell said Monday during his announcement on Instagram Live with ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi. 

Mitchell becomes the second five-star recruit for the 2022 recruiting class. Dallas Kimball guard Arterio Morris committed to the Horns in July. Mitchell ranks 18th nationally in the ESPN 100 rankings for 2022 and 28th nationally in the 247Sports composite rankings.

More:Texas has jumped into the men's basketball transfer portal. Will the Horns find success?

Texas has landed two top-30 players in the 247Sports composite rankings only twice in recent years — 2010 (Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson) and 2016 (Jarrett Allen, Andrew Jones). It’s a regular occurrence at the big basketball schools, but not at Texas.

Oral commitments are non-binding. The first day a high school basketball recruit can sign a national letter of intent is Nov. 10 during the early signing period. Morris and Mitchell are the only two likely high school recruits that will sign in UT next month. 

Mitchell chose Texas over Florida State and Tennessee.

“Coach Beard doesn’t look at me as like a two, three, or four. He just looks at me as a player,” Mitchell told the recruiting website On3. “Just a complete player that can do a bit of everything. That’s what I loved about it. 

“That’s another big thing, you know me being so versatile… being able to guard multiple positions, play multiple positions, all those types of things,” Mitchell added. “He likes my versatility and being able to do multiple things on the court and that’s how they want to use me.”

Mitchell was playing at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic in Springdale, Fla. Last season. He averaged 17.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists per game. This season, Mitchell accepted a spot at Montverde Academy, where future NBA standouts Cade Cunningham, Joel Embiid and D’Angelo Russell all emerged.

“Today is a Good Day,” Beard tweeted shortly after Mitchell’s announcement. Beard included a short GIF showing him unfolding a chair, sitting down with Bevo XV and flashing the “Hook ’em” hand sign.

The Twittersphere went wild when UT assistant coach Ulric Maligi tweeted out a photo showing him jumping out of an airplane. “Anything within reason for a commitment!!,” Maligi tweeted. Maligi went skydiving in honor of his mother’s 60th birthday, and it became something of an inside joke with Mitchell.

Still, this coaching staff will go to the ends of the Earth to find players. And Florida, too.

Mitchell came to Austin for the weekend of the Oklahoma State football game. “I knew right after I left in my heart I knew I wanted to be there,” he told On3. 

Contact Brian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.