Top Duke basketball recruiting target Dariq Whitehead announces his college decision

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Despite a last-minute, $500,000 offer to play professionally next year, Dariq Whitehead plans to play in college for Duke.

Whitehead, a 6-6, 190-pound small forward from Newark, New Jersey, committed to join Duke and play for new head coach Jon Scheyer beginning in 2022. He made his commitment public Sunday night.

Rated a five-star recruit, Whitehead selected Duke over offers from Florida State, Kansas, UCLA, Auburn and Florida among others. He added a different offer on Saturday from the NBA’s developmental arm, the G League Ignite team, where he could have earned a salary for a year before entering the NBA Draft.

Instead, Whitehead is the second player from the Class of 2022 to commit to play for Duke beginning next year. On Thursday, Kyle Filipowski, a 6-11 forward from New York, became the first player to commit to Duke following coach Mike Krzyzewski’s announced his plans to retire following the upcoming season.

They are they first two players in four decades to commit to Duke while knowing they aren’t coming to play for Krzyzewski.

Duke’s coach since 1980, Krzyzewski announced in June he’ll retire after the upcoming season. Scheyer, Duke’s associate head coach, was selected to take over as head coach at that time.

Since then, Scheyer, associate head coach Chris Carrawell and assistant Nolan Smith have been recruiting players for the classes of 2022 and beyond. Krzyzewski has stayed off the recruiting trail because he knows he won’t be coaching those players.

Whitehead attends Montverde Academy in Florida and made an impression with his scoring and defense while playing on the Nike EYBL circuit this summer with Team Durant. Whitehead made first-team, all-Peach Jam while averaging 17.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.4 steals at Nike’s premier summer event last month.

Duke offered him a scholarship on June 8 and he made an official visit to campus on June 11. He visited Kansas on June 28 and received an offer from the Jayhawks on July 20.

According to the composite ratings for the Class of 2022 compiled by, Whitehead is the No. 6 player in his class and the nation’s No. 3 small forward.

If he follows through and signs with Duke, it means the Blue Devils will have landed at least one of’s national top-10 players in nine of the past 10 recruiting classes. The lone exception was the Class of 2020, when Jalen Johnson, at No. 13 nationally, was the highest-rated player.