Center Zack Crimmins of Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, VA, will play at Columbia next fall, choosing the Lions over scholarship offers from Bucknell and Lafayette. The 6-11 Crimmins received preliminary interest from high major programs Notre Dame and Virginia and the Washington Post reported late interest from Boston College and Tulane on September 27. However, his choices came down to an Ivy League school and two Patriot League schools. Crimmins is Columbia’s first reported recruit for the 2006-07 season.
Slant: Big men with that kind of size generally are recruited a level or two above their ability, but people ought not read into Crimmins’s short list and assume he doesn’t have the talent to be an Ivy League standout. Rather than going to a Big East or ACC program where playing time would have been hard to come by, he opted to focus on schools at a level where he could be an impact player. Crimmins will need to get bigger and stronger to realize his potential at the Division I level, but his AAU coach, Ed Greissing, spoke highly of his player’s character, work ethic, and high ceiling.
After bringing in a guard-centric recruiting class this past year, Columbia coach Joe Jones has made the frontcourt the main focus of his 2007 class. Crimmins will get to play behind current big men Ben Nwachukwu and John Baumann for a season before competing with Jason Miller for the starting center spot. Jones deserves a great deal of credit for beating out scholarship offers from a pair of excellent academic institutions in Bucknell and Lafayette.