Collin Chandler flips commitment to Kentucky

4-Star recruit Collin Chandler has flipped his commitment and will join Mark Pope at Kentucky
Mark Pope at his introductory press conference at Rupp Arena
Mark Pope at his introductory press conference at Rupp Arena / Clare Grant/Courier Journal / USA TODAY

Ouch. This is the big one.

For years, BYU fans have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Collin Chandler, a former Farmington High School star and BYU's highest-rated recruit ever. While some worried he would change his mind and go to Utah instead, he held up his end of the deal and stuck to his original plan of suiting up for Mark Pope's squad. When Pope packed up and left for Kentucky's head coaching job, we all sat on the edge of our seats dreading the recruit's decision.

This morning, Chandler's decision was announced, and it's exactly what we feared. BYU's highest-rated recruit in history was too good to be true, and we'll never see him suit up for the Cougars after all.

Chandler is just returning from his missionary service, so he'll likely take some time to get back into ideal basketball shape, but this is a huge pickup for Kentucky (he's the first player to commit to playing for Pope's Wildcats) and a devastating blow to BYU's program.

As a high school recruit in 2021, Chandler received offers from Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, and Utah, but decided to attend BYU and be a part of a rising program helmed by Coach Pope.

Releasing Chandler from his NLI isn't the nail in the coffin for BYU basketball, though. The Cougars are positioned to take a step back from last season's sudden success in the Big 12, and losing their top recruit won't help the win total. But aside from Chandler, no contributing players have officially announced their exit from the program. While several players have entered the portal, a return isn't out of the question.

Chandler is a blue-blood level athlete and will have a major role on Pope's roster. While seeing him leave BYU certainly stings, I look forward to seeing him compete at the highest levels of college basketball.

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