UCF Football's Liberty Bowl victory over Georgia isn't the only good news for the Knights on this New Year's Day.
Shortly after the ball dropped at midnight, elite basketball recruit Michael Chandler texted UCFSports.com to announce that he committed to the nationally ranked UCF men's basketball program during his official visit.
Ranked the No. 3 center in the nation, No. 47 overall recruit and a four-star prospect, Chandler, who attends Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, will be the highest-ranked player to ever sign with UCF and joins what was already the best recruiting class in school history.
The 7-foot center, who was recruited by head coach Donnie Jones and associate head coach Shawn Finney, had a long list of offers including Louisville, Xavier, Indiana, Kentucky, Connecticut, Purdue, Ohio State, Oregon, St. John's and West Virginia among others.
One of the best unsigned players available for 2011, Chandler will fill the void which will be left by senior Tom Herzog, who is enjoying a standout season for the Knights in his one year of eligibility after transferring from Michigan State. Like Herzog, Chandler is an athletic big man who is regarded as a top shot blocker and rebounder.
The late signing period for college basketball begins in mid-April.
The commitment of Chandler is just the latest chapter in what's been a storybook year so far for Jones, who was hired by UCF eight months ago. The Knights are enjoying their most successful run in school history as they enter 2011 holding a perfect 13-0 record and a No. 19 ranking in the AP Top 25 with landmark wins against Florida and Miami.
Stay tuned to UCFSports.com for more on Chandler's decision.