Nash is a 6-7, 225-pound standout from Dallas (Lincoln), Texas, who is ranked as the nation’s 11th-best high school prospect by Scout.com. He becomes the latest in a list of standout athletes from Lincoln High School to sign and play at Oklahoma State, joining his half-brother Byron Eaton, former Cowgirl All-American Andrea Riley and current defensive end Richetti Jones as former Tigers turned Cowboys.
“Nash will make a difference right away for the Cowboys,” writes Evan Daniels, basketball recruiting analyst for Scout. com. “Nash is a terrific prospect. When he plays hard, he's one of the best players in the country.
“He's an elite athlete that with tremendous versatile and a unique ability to score. Nash also has the toughness factor. If he sniffs out fear in an opponent, he usually exploits it by attacking the basket and using his strength, athleticism and ball skills to score,” Daniels added.
Nash becomes the highest ranked basketball player to sign with Oklahoma State since 2005 when Gerald Green, out of Houston, picked the Cowboys. The 6-8, 200-pound Green was ranked No. 2 in the Class of 2005, and signed with the Cowboys but never made it to Stillwater because he entered the NBA Draft after his senior year of high school.
“We’re very excited about LeBryan joining our basketball family here at Oklahoma State,” said Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford. “It’s been a lot of fun getting to know him and his mom and all his coaches throughout the recruiting process. He’s been very blessed to have a terrific mother (Samantha Nash) who has raised him as a fine young man, and he’s been very fortunate to have great coaches around him who have taught him a lot about the game and a lot about life.
“LeBryan is first and foremost a terrific young man who represents himself very well,” Ford continued. “He’s also a great basketball player. On the court, he’s one of the most talented players I’ve seen in a very long time. He can play multiple positions, from point guard to two-guard to three-guard to any position on the court that you’d like for him to play. He’s just great with the ball in his hands, from scoring to passing.”
Nash was a member of the 2010 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team this past summer and averaged eight points in five games as the USA squad won the gold medal in San Antonio, Texas. He scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench against the U.S. Virgin Islands in the opening round.
“From all the years I’ve been in this profession recruiting players of an elite status, he’s the most talented and skilled player I’ve ever recruited,” said OSU associate head coach Butch Pierre, the primary recruiter for Nash’s services. “From a maturity standpoint, he’s an impact guy who makes players around him better.”
Nash announced Oct. 21 on national television (ESPNU) that he would sign with OSU, putting a giant foam Cowboy hat out on as he declared that he would be signing with Oklahoma State over Kansas and Baylor. He followed through on that announcement by signing his letter of intent during a ceremony at Lincoln High School at 3 p.m Wednesday.
Johnson, the top junior college player in the nation, also is expected to sign with Oklahoma State, but the school did not confirm that Thursday in the announcement of Nash’s signing.
The 6-8, 225-pound Johnson was named the Preseason National Junior College Player of the Year by The Sporting News. He originally signed with Oklahoma State two years ago before his senior season at Laurinburg Prep in Laurinburg, N.C., where he was ranked as the No. 72 prospect in the Class of 2009.
“To be honest, before I left high school I already knew Oklahoma State was the place for me,” Johnson told GoPokes.com. “I’ve always felt good about Oklahoma State and I’ve always wanted to go to Oklahoma State. So it’s really kind of the same feeling that I’ve had from the beginning.”
Oklahoma State will become the sixth school in six years for Johnson, who is now attending Midland (Texas) junior college after spending the 2009-10 school year at Moberly (Mo.) Area Community College. He attended three high schools – Laurenburg Prep, Mount Zion Academy in Durham, N.C., and the Patterson School in Patterson, N.C.
Nash and Johnson are the only two players expected to sign with the Cowboys during the early signing period, which runs from Nov. 10-17.