Might Ed Cooley’s standing as the Friars’ new head coach rekindle the sparks with high school prospect and fellow Providence native Ricky Ledo? Time will tell says Ryan Hurd, Ledo’s head coach at Notre Dame Prep, located in Fitchburg, Mass.
“I’m sure (Cooley’s hiring) does change things and that’s a conversation that we’ll have leading up to the summer,” said Hurd when reached Friday afternoon. “My advice to him is simple: take all of this in, make the choice on your own and have some good reasons. When we sit down, I want him to tell me what school he wants to go to, that’s all. I don’t have to go away with him. H has to go someplace where he’s going to be content and flourish.”
Ledo, hailed as the 11th-rated prep player in the 2012 class by ESPN.com and the top-rated shooting guard by both the Scout.com and Rivals.com recruiting web sites, made waves when he verbally committed to PC on Christmas Day only to renege a month later on his Twitter account, posting that he was reopening his recruiting. He along with several of his Notre Dame Prep teammates sat behind the Friar bench when Providence upset No. 8 Villanova on Jan. 26.
After the game Ledo, sporting a PC sweatshirt, reiterated his intentions of becoming a Friar, saying, “Growing up I always watched Providence on TV or came to games. Just knowing that I’ll be playing here in a couple years, it’s nice.”
Notre Dame Prep became the fourth school Ledo enrolled in after making stops at Bishop Hendricken, St. Andrew’s in Barrington and South Kent in Connecticut. Hurd stressed that since he started coaching Ledo in January he has not run into any difficulties with the 6-foot-5 guard. Ledo was able to appear in 16 games for Notre Dame Prep, most of time coming off the bench.
“He’s more than met our expectations, that’s for sure. He came into a situation where obviously he knew some eyes were going to be on him, but he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do in class and out of class,” said Hurd. “I told him from the start that you’re going to have to earn everything you get. He bought into that and was fine with his role.
“As a player he competes, both offensively and defensively,” continued Hurd, who coached current Providence forward Ron Giplaye. “For a kid with an offensive skill set, to want to defend and be (guarding) the other team’s best player and want to rebound and do the little things, you can’t ask for more than that as a coach.”
Asked if Ledo has a target date in mind to announce his decision, Hurd answered, “I’m not going to put any pressure on him. That’s entirely up to him. We’ve gotten a lot of phone calls about him. Obviously any school in the country would be interested in getting him. It’s not a decision he’s going to make in the immediate future. He needs to educate himself.”