Nimari Burnett, ranked No. 19 in ESPN 100, commits to Red Raiders

Five-star guard Nimari Burnett committed to Texas Tech on Tuesday, becoming the Red Raiders' highest-ranked recruit in program history.

"I chose Texas Tech because of the winning culture of the program and the coaching staff," Burnett said. "It felt like a big family."

Burnett chose the Red Raiders over a final four that also included Alabama, Oregon and Michigan. He took official visits to all four schools, going to Michigan and Alabama in September and Texas Tech and Oregon in October.

Tech was late getting into Burnett's recruitment, but coach Chris Beard went to Burnett's high school in September for an in-home visit and immediately put the Red Raiders in a strong position.

"I really did not have my eyes on Texas Tech early in the process," Burnett said. "After the visit, I changed my mind. They were very transparent in their approach. Once you get the gut feeling on where to go, you just know it."

A 6-foot-3 guard from Chicago who plays at Prolific Prep (California), Burnett is ranked No. 19 in the ESPN 100 -- slotting in as the No. 5 shooting guard, even though he's capable of playing both on and off the ball. He averaged 19.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists for the Team Why Not grassroots program on the Nike EYBL circuit, shooting 30.7 percent from 3-point range.

Burnett brings a complete set of scoring skills to the game, including a deep 3-point shot with a compact and quick release. He has a knack of going into the paint to post up, which adds to his offensive package. As a secondary ball handler, he displays confidence, control and vision to set up the offense or set up his teammates.

After landing just one ESPN 100 recruit in the first 10 years of the ESPN recruiting database -- and not a single prospect ranked inside the top 80 -- Texas Tech has now landed four top-40 prospects and five ESPN 100 prospects in the last three classes. Khavon Moore was the first of that group back in the 2018 class, while Jahmius Ramsey and Terrence Shannon Jr. entered the fold in the 2019 class. Top-35 senior Micah Peavy committed to Tech earlier this month.

Burnett is the Red Raiders' first five-star recruit in the history of the ESPN recruiting database, however, coming five months after Tech reached the national championship game.

"Texas Tech takes great pride in player development," Burnett said. "Look what they have done in player development, Zhaire Smith and Jarrett Culver. Everyone knows their role and the players improve. Coach Chris Beard is not only a humble man but one who keeps it real. I can trust him with everything."

Burnett is Texas Tech's third commitment in the 2020 class, joining Peavy (No. 32) and three-star forward Chibuzo Agbo. The Red Raiders also have UNLV transfer Joel Ntambwe sitting out this season.

The lone seniors on this year's Red Raiders team are graduate transfers TJ Holyfield and Chris Clarke.