ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – It was Amir Coffey last year and two years ago, it was Jarvis Johnson. After missing out one some of Minnesota’s top talent this year, Richard Pitino appears to have landed his first big catch from the 2018 basketball class.

Cretin-Derham Hall junior forward/center Daniel Oturu, considered to be the top player in the class of 2018, gave a verbal commitment Thursday to Pitino and the University of Minnesota. He’s currently leading the Raiders with more than 17 points and 18 rebounds per game.

Oturu had scholarship offers from all over the country, including Kansas, Texas, Baylor, Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Memphis and the Gophers. He can make it official later this fall during the early signing period for basketball.

He is a 6-10, 220-pound post player and is a consensus top-100, four-star recruit. It’s the first big name to stay home for 2018 in a loaded class that includes Race Thompson of Armstrong, Gabe Kalscheur of DeLaSalle and Tre Jones of Apple Valley. All have scholarship offers from Minnesota.

It’s also an encouraging sign for the Gophers in recruiting after they missed out on five of Minnesota’s top players in the 2017 class. They include Maple Grove guard Brad Davison and Lakeville North forward Nathan Reuvers, who both signed with Wisconsin. Jericho Sims of Christo Rey Jesuit Academy signed with Texas, Champlin Park center Theo John signed with Marquette and teammate McKinley Wright signed with Dayton.

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