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Wednesday April 14th, 2021 6:58AM

Auburn lands Top 5 recruit, prep forward Jabari Smith

By The Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn has landed the highest rated recruit in program history, five-star power forward Jabari Smith.

Tigers coach Bruce Pearl announced the signing Tuesday of the 6-foot-10, 215-pounder from Tyrone, Georgia.

Smith is rated the nation's No. 5 recruit by 247Sports and ESPN and fourth overall by Rivals. The previous top Auburn signee is current freshman point guard Sharife Cooper.

Smith averaged 24.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game last season while shooting 50% from the floor, including 38% from 3-point range for Sandy Creek High School.

“Competitive programs are built by bringing in really good people that want to work hard together to accomplish something special,” Pearl said. “What gets lost in Jabari being ranked as one of the top-5 players in the country is that he’s one of the top-5 people because of his character and his work ethic. That fits what we’re trying to do at Auburn."

Pearl said Smith is “a skilled big that can play any position on the floor."

Smith is the son of Jabari Smith Sr., who spent two seasons at LSU before NBA stints with the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and the Sacramento Kings. Smith's cousin, Kwame Brown, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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