Kansas coach Bill Self began recruiting Wichita Heights freshman Perry Ellis following KU’s 2008 national championship season when Ellis was a freshman. On Wednesday, all of Self’s hard work paid off when Ellis signed a national letter of intent to play for the Jayhawks.
“We’ve been excited about Perry Ellis for a long time,” Self said. “We’ve been recruiting Perry pretty hard for a while. We felt like he was as important of a recruit as we have had since we’ve been here. You have to get your local guys and certainly he has a chance to be in that same mold of a Wayne Simien-type guy. Fans are going to fall in love with him because he is so responsible and disciplined. He’s a great student and will be a great ambassador for any program.”
Ellis chose to be KU’s ambassador in September, choosing the Jayhawks over Kentucky, Kansas State and Wichita State, among others. Ellis, who stands 6-foot-8 and 220 pounds, is rated a five-star recruit and the No. 24 player nationally by Rivals.com.
“He has progressed to the point to where he may play as much on the perimeter than on the inside for us,” Self said. “He’s going to be a three man. He has a very good skill set. Coach (Joe) Auer and his staff and Steve Young and his team’s AAU program have put him into a position that he is able to do different things. He’s an athlete. He can really, really run. He is so explosive and so strong now. I’ve seen him develop and I think he’s prepared to have an impactful freshman year because we can pretty much put him out there and he can figure it out because he’s so versatile.”
Ellis’ high-school career has been one filled with accolades from the beginning. Ellis is the three-time Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year, and he has led Heights to three straight Class 6A state championships.Ellis has a 4.0 grade-point average in high school.
He will be joined by Prestonwood Christian (Texas) power forward Zach Peters in signing with KU during the early signing period.