RICHMOND, Va. – Mayan Kiir (Bradenton, Fla./Victory Rock Prep), Lavar Batts (Concord, N.C./J.M. Robinson), Sean Mobley (Melbourne, Fla./Montverde Academy) and Marcus Santos-Silva (Taunton, Mass./Vermont Academy) have signed National Letters of Intent to play for VCU in 2017, Rams' Coach Will Wade announced Wednesday.
"Our staff did a good job of identifying the right guys," Wade said. "It's a tricky spot when you're signing a bunch of bigger guys. They did a good job of getting guys who do a number of different things. We went out and got the guys that fit the best together for our program long term, and then you add in an electric guard like Lavar, and it fills our needs."
A 6-foot-9 power forward, Kiir is rated 95th in ESPN's top 100 for the class of 2017. A skilled, athletic post, Kiir is a 4-star recruit, according to ESPN. He chose the Rams after receiving offers from Illinois, Louisville, LSU and N.C. State.
"Mayan is a player with tremendous upside," Wade said. "He's been extremely well-coached in high school and AAU. He's played in a system similar to ours. He's terrific defensively and on the glass, and his offense is underrated. He's got good range. But he's tremendous on the offensive and defensive glass, taking charges, that kind of stuff. He's going to be a special player for us."
Batts is a consensus 4-star recruit from Concord, N.C. and is the top-ranked player in the state of North Carolina in the class of 2017. A 6-2, 165-pound lefty, Batts averaged 20.7 points, 5 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals to lead J.M. Robinson High School to a class 3A State Championship as a junior. Batts is rated 99th in ESPN's top 100 recruits for 2017. He picked VCU over interest from Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Oklahoma and others.
"Lavar is a tremendous competitor. He won a state championship in high school and he's won big at the AAU level. He's extremely quick, guards the ball and is a blur in the open court. He's what you'd think for a VCU point guard," said Wade. "He was the guy we identified early at the point guard spot. He committed first, and that kind of got the ball rolling for this class. He already knew Mayan. It was good that some of our guys knew him and knew they were going to play with really good point guard."
A multi-positional talent, Mobley is a 4-star recruit, according to ESPN. At 6-foot-9, 225 pounds, he has the size to play in the post, but his shooting and ball-handling ability allow him to roam comfortably on the wing. Mobley led Montverde to at 26-2 record and the semifinals of the DICK's Sporting Goods High School Nationals last season. When he signed, Mobley's offers included N.C. State, West Virginia, Wake Forest and Dayton
"He's a guy that we identified in early part of summer as somebody that we liked and somebody that we felt was a good fit for us," Wade said. "He can play multiple positions, is versatile, passes well, shoots well, rebounds well. He has tremendous feel for the game. One thing we noticed is that he always makes the right play. He has a college-ready body, and he comes from a tremendous high school program that will have him ready day one."
A 6-7, 265-pound forward, Santos-Silva is a consensus 3-star recruit averaged 15.8 points and 11.8 rebounds this summer at the EYBL Peach Jam with BABC. A tenacious rebounder and deft passer, Santos-Silva is the No. 3 recruit in the state of Vermont, according to 247 Sports. He also drew interest from Boston College, Kansas State, Temple and a host of others.
"Marcus is a big space-eater. Rebounding and shot blocking really translate from level to level, and Marcus was the premier rebounder on the EYBL circuit. He's got really good feet and hands and a really good feel for the game," said Wade. "We love the fact that he's a self-made player. He's worked really hard these last few years, and we know with that work ethic, he'll be successful here."