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August 24, 2014

Another Pearl


AUBURN | Fresh off his show-cause, Bruce Pearl is already building one of the best recruiting classes in Auburn history.

The Tigers added their second commit in as many days from Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep 4-star power forward Horace Spencer, who announced his decision Sunday morning after meeting with Pearl for the first time shortly after midnight Saturday.

Spencer, 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, chose Auburn over offers from Georgia, Maryland, Iowa, Cincinnati, Oregon State, USC, UNLV and Temple.

"He just liked the whole environment," said Spencer's father, Horace Spencer II. "He met all the coaches and I think the warmth they showed us as we walked through the entire campus on the tour made a big impression. My son is a big guy with the weight room and he loved the weight room and how he can get himself in shape. Coach Pearl told him that he can get him ready for the pro game, he loves that. Plus, he likes the family-type environment and how they take care of you academically.

"For me, this school feels like a very safe environment for my son. I feel very relaxed that he's coming here as opposed to other places I have visited. The family approves him coming here and I feel relaxed about it. I didn't know he was going to commit that fast, it shocked me, but he couldn't find anything he didn't like with the school."

Spencer, who is ranked the nation's No. 73 overall prospect, joins Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy 4-star small forward Danjel Purifoy, who is ranked No. 80, giving the Tigers two commitments in the Top 100.

Purifoy, 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds, announced his commitment to Auburn Friday night during the Under Armour Elite 24 dunk contest.

A Warminster, Pa., native, Spencer averaged 6.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game as a junior on a loaded Findlay Prep team that finished 31-5 and had four D-I signees.

He had a strong summer playing for the AAU Gym Rats including a 16-point, 18-rebound performance at the NBPA Top 100 camp.

"Spencer is one of the most athletic big men in the country ... (he) is bouncy, strong and has great quickness in the lane. He was tearing down rims and dishing out some intimidation in the lane on Friday night," Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi wrote after watching Spencer play in the Pangos All-American camp in May.

Pearl's three-year NCAA show-cause penalty, which prevented him from having any contact with recruits, ended at midnight Aug. 23. Pearl spoke with several recruits early Sunday morning and will host an Elite camp Sunday afternoon.

Auburn is expected to sign at least four players in the 2015 class. The early signing period begins Nov. 12.

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