COOKEVILLE, Tenn. --- Head coach Steve Payne and his staff will add DeOndre Haynes to the 2012-13 Golden Eagle men's basketball roster following the recent signing of his National Letter of Intent (NLI) with Tennessee Tech.
The 6-3 point guard out of Calera, Ala., is ranked amongst the nation's top 150 high school prospects (No. 146) and also spoke casually with SEC affiliates Ole Miss and Auburn prior to solidifying his verbal commitment to Tech this week.
"We're looking forward to having DeOndre develop as a player at Tech," Payne said. "He has a chance to be an impact player in the league with terrific athleticism at the point guard position. He's quick and explosive. Offensively, he can get in the lane, make plays above the rim, and has a terrific passing game.
"More importantly though, he brings great intangibles to the team. He's a great leader and has the character that's required for someone at that position," Payne finished.
An AAU player under coach Chris Monroe, Haynes averaged double-figure scoring with multiple 20-point performances this season with the Birmingham Storm Elite squad.
"DeOndre is a very good combo guard who was recruited by a number of high major schools," Monroe said. "He's been in contact with SEC and ACC schools and chose TTU because of the relationships that he developed with the coaches there.
"He's the type of kid that can bring a lot to the OVC," Monroe continued. "He has a high motor, he's very athletic, and averaged about 20 points and eight assists this year for our team. I think he's really going to excel in Cookeville, Tennessee."
At Calera High School, Haynes was named the Alabama 4A Player of the Year for three consecutive seasons.
"What impressed me most about Tennessee Tech was how it clicked when I visited," Haynes explained. "The campus is great, the team is made up of good quality guys and the coaches are great."
Despite having received offers from several other schools including East Carolina, Georgia and UAB, there were several reasons that Haynes never wavered from his initial verbal commitment to TTU.
"The coaching staff at Tech really made me feel like they were excited for me to be there, I felt welcome from the start," Haynes said. "Tech is also a good school academically, and my education is my first priority."
Haynes, who turns 18 on June 15, intends to pursue a career in coaching. He will join a group of four others in Shaqueille Calhoun, Anthony Morse, Jay Johnson and Eric Weisenbach to comprise the 2012-13 TTU signing class.