Noel, who's now an official member of the Class of 2012, has already taken unofficial visits to Syracuse and Kentucky. Most recently, he made an official visit to Georgetown.
In mid-February, Noel visited Syracuse when the Orange defeated UConn 85-67. A short time later, he made an appearance in Lexington, KY. As noted by Daniels, the two favorites to land Noel are Syracuse and Kentucky, and while there's not a clear cut favorite, many expect UK to be the choice.
However, things could have changed since the Orange's sophomore center Fab Melo was ruled ineligible by the university and is now expected to test the NBA Draft waters.
The new opening at the center position, especially one that's closer to his hometown of Boston, could be a turning point in the highly publicized recruitment of Noel.
A crowd of 33,430 fans packed the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY Saturday to witness the No. 2-ranked Orange down the Connecticut Huskies, 85-67, in a Big East Conference men's basketball game. However, a lot of fans, especially the students, weren't just there to watch Syracuse earn its 20th consecutive home victory, but instead were there to try and convince five-star recruit Nerlens Noel, the top recruit for the Class of 2012 according to ESPN Recruiting services, to commit to SU.
The Dome was buzzing, as the student's sections created signs and wore fake flat-top haircuts -- the hairstyle that Noel sports -- to try and sway the star recruit, who was making his unofficial visit.
During the national anthem, the traditional shouting of "O!" during the lyrics, "O! say can you see..." was by far the loudest of the season (of course, maybe, 33,000-plus had something to do with that), as the crowd made it apparent they'd love to see the 6-foot-10, 200-pound center from The Tilton School (Tilton, NH) in an orange uniform next fall.
After Syracuse's victory, Noel was inside the Syracuse locker room hanging out with assistant coach Mike Hopkins. Along side Noel, was high school teammate Goodluck Okonoboh who is a Class of '13 recruit.
On Sunday morning, Noel was asked via Twitter how his visit to Syracuse went:
Noel wasn't the only SU recruit in attendance Saturday, as verbal commit DaJuan Coleman, a five-start center who was just named to the McDonald's All-American game, March 28, and Class of '13 recruit, point guard Tyler Ennis, were there too.
Nerlens Noel, the No. 3-ranked prospect by Rivals, has decided toreclassify from the Class of 2013 to '12, reported ESPNU's Dave Telep Wednesday. The move will allow Noel, who currently plays at The Tilton School in Tilton, N.H., to play college basketball next Fall and quicken his recruitment, which features top-hoop schools such as: Syracuse, UConn, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Georgetown, Florida, and hometown Providence.
"I just thought over the season that I thought I was getting a higher level of competition and was working on my game," Noel said. "I reclassified because I was hurt but I feel like I'm ready to play at the next level."
Noel (6-foot-10, 200 pounds) will make his official visit to Syracuse on Feb. 11, the same day the No. 2-ranked Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East) host the Connecticut Huskies (1 p.m. on CBS) in a Big East Conference contest at the Carrier Dome. Reportedly, there has already been over 30,000 tickets sold for the event.
However, Noel's reclassification does cause an issue for Syracuse's recruitment for Noel because already verbally committed for next year is local-center prospect DeJuan Coleman, the No. 3-rated center by Rivals, and forward Jerami Grant, a four-star prospect. Add Coleman (6-foot-8, 280 pounds) and Grant (6-foot-8, 200 pounds) to a '12-13 front court that could feature junior centers Fab Melo and Baye Moussa Keita, and sophomore Rakeem Christmas and there will be an odd man out when it comes to playing time if Noel commits to SU.
A spot could open up if Melo decides to test the 2012 NBA Draft waters or one of the other three bigmen are redshirted or decide to transfer -- all scenarios are unlikely.
The signing period for basketball recruits begin in April.
Nerlens Noel ESPN's #2 Player in 2013 - LeBron James Skills Academy 2011 (via CityLeagueHoopsTV)