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Grand Island's Isaac Traudt, state's No. 1 basketball recruit, commits to Virginia

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Isaac Traudt

Grand Island's Isaac Traudt is the No. 1 recruit in Nebraska for the 2022 class and ranks just outside the top 50 nationally.

Grand Island junior Isaac Traudt has added six new offers with more to come this week.

The state's highest-ranked recruit plans to head out of state for college ball.

Grand Island star Isaac Traudt committed to Virginia on Saturday morning, capping a multiyear recruiting process that included all-out recruiting efforts from both Nebraska and Creighton but ultimately ended with a pledge to the 2019 national champion.

"After prayerful consideration, I'll be committing to the University of Virginia," Traudt said in the one-minute video message he shared on Twitter Saturday.

Traudt told The World-Herald that in his conversations with Virginia coach Tony Bennett, the two often discussed the potential fit. How Traudt's game meshed well with Virginia's system. How his personality matched the program culture.

Ultimately, Traudt was sold.

He said he's grateful for the other college coaches who took the time to make their own persuasive pitches. There certainly were many.

Traudt's long had the attention of the nation's top programs — nine scholarship offers, including ones from NU and CU, poured in on the first day that college coaches could contact him last summer. The interest only grew from there.

Traudt is No. 55 overall on the 247Sports composite ranking for the 2022 class. Rivals has him as the 60th-best recruit in the country. He's No. 73 on ESPN's list. The recruiting sites rate Traudt as a four-star prospect.

The 6-foot-9 forward also was a member of The World-Herald's All-Nebraska first team last season. He averaged 25.3 points per game (on 51% shooting) for Grand Island — he tied the Class A record with 57 points in a victory at Norfolk.

Then during this past summer of AAU ball on the Under Armour circuit, he had countless college coaches sitting courtside to evaluate his performances and convey their interest.

Traudt eventually took official visits to North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan State and Nebraska. He had multiple unofficial visits to Creighton, including one in June.

Gonzaga and Texas offered this summer, too.

Traudt told The World-Herald last week that he was considering taking additional official visits this fall. He potentially had five to use.

But in the end, Virginia had what Traudt was looking for. He'll make it official by signing a letter of intent in November.

It is the third consecutive year that the top recruit in the state decided to leave Nebraska's borders for college. Five-star Hunter Sallis signed with Gonzaga. Max Murrell, a teammate of Sallis' at Millard North, went to Stanford. All three had offers from Nebraska and Creighton.

Additionally, former Bellevue West standout Chucky Hepburn will debut this season at Wisconsin, and Papio South product Lok Wur just completed his redshirt freshman year at Oregon.

With Traudt off the board, now the Huskers and Jays have to focus their attention elsewhere.

Both have offered Millard North standout Jasen Green, a 6-foot-7 2022 prospect who ranks No. 233 on the 247Sports composite.

NU also has 2022 commitments from high school guard Ramel Lloyd Jr. and junior college center Blaise Keita.

CU secured a commitment from 2022 combo guard Ben Shtolzberg earlier this month. The Jays are also one of five finalists for 2022 wing Kimani Hamilton, a 6-foot-7 prospect from Clinton, Mississippi.

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