DJ Wagner, the No. 1 high school player in the Class of 2023, has signed John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats. Wagner chose Kentucky over rival Louisville. He also officially signed his letter of intent.
Following his involvement with Kentucky, the Wildcats now have the clear No. 1 recruit in the country for the Class of 2023. Wagner is the third No. 1 recruit in the 247Sports Composite rankings to sign up for Kentucky during the reign of John Calipari engaged and Anthony joins Davis and Nerlens Noel.
Wagner made his announcement Monday after many days of making Wildcat and Cardinal fans alike nervous. It’s been a very long road to finally get to Wagner’s signing, but it’s definitely worth it for Calipari and Wildcat fans.
Calipari has known Wagner since he can remember. His father, Dajuan Wagner Sr., was a highly acclaimed recruit and was recruited and trained by Calipari in Memphis after high school. Calipari and Dajuan have always had a close bond ever since, and that bond carried over to DJ when he was a kid.
However, the case for Louisville goes back before Dajuan. Dajuan’s father, Milt Wagner, played for Louisville in the mid-1980s and played on the 1986 national championship team. Current Cardinals head coach Kenny Payne was on the team with Milt and they became very close during their time in Louisville. When Payne was hired in March, many thought he would hire Milt to some extent to try and win Wagner’s recruiting, much like Calipari did in Memphis to land Dajuan. Payne hired Milt in May, and while that swayed many recruiting analysts’ opinions, we now know it never mattered.
All three Wagners spent their high school careers playing at Camden High School in Camden, New Jersey, so wearing this jersey was a family legacy. After Wagner’s studies, however, they will all have gone to different universities.
Since graduating from high school, Wagner has been considered one of the best players in his class. Last summer, he averaged 20.3 points and 5.2 assists during the circuit while playing for the New Jersey Scholars. Last season, he averaged 19.8 points per game and led Camden to a New Jersey State championship.
One of Wagner’s teammates at Camden and NJ Scholars is Aaron Bradshaw, who is another member of that No. 1 class. Bradshaw is #6 on the 247Sports Composite. The two are joined by Justin Edwards at No. 2, Robert Dillingham at No. 9, and Reed Sheppard at No. 29. Sheppard is the son of former Kentucky star and two-time champion Jeff Sheppard. Starting with the 2011 class when 247Sports began compiling team rankings, this is Caliparis’ sixth #1 recruiting class during his time in Kentucky.
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