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Rooks commits

Clemson basketball has filled less than a quarter of its anticipated 2012 recruiting haul.

But it has already begun adding a piece for 2013.

Patrick Rooks, a 6-foot-3, 170-pound shooting guard from Charlotte (N.C.) Christian High School, pledged the Tigers on Monday night.

Rooks and his family visited Clemson on Sunday.

“To be honest with you, I hadn’t planned on committing until next year, maybe next season,” he said. “I definitely wasn’t planning on committing today.

“But when my family and I walked out of that meeting (with coach Brad Brownell) on Sunday, we all looked at each other and said, ‘This is the place for me.’”

And it’s not as if Rooks wasn’t already familiar with the program.

The Tigers have been in on Rooks since he was in the seventh grade and gave him his first high-major offer last month.

N.C. State also sent several members of new coach Mark Gottfried’s coaching staff to watch Rooks during the recent evaluation period, and Rooks felt the Wolfpack were close to offering.

Virginia, South Carolina and Xavier have also scouted Rooks recently, and he had drawn interest from Wake Forest’s previous staff. He also holds a longstanding offer from Charlotte.

As a sophomore, he averaged 10 points a game for Charlotte Christian High School, where he was the second option behind South Carolina forward signee Anthony Gill.

Sunday’s visit marked the first time his mother, a Clemson graduate, had a chance to accompany her husband and Rooks’ brothers on an unofficial visit.

“It was just an overall great experience,” Rooks said. “We probably talked to coach Brownell for two hours in all. He was very, very honest with me, and my mother just kept feeding him with questions. And he was knocking them out. He didn’t leave anything out. That’s something I just really like about him.”

Rooks called his recruiter, Earl Grant, to convey his commitment at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

“This was a big step for me,” he said. "I had to talk to people very close to me – my AAU coach, my high school coach, my parents. We all thought it was a good decision for me.

“This is special.”

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