Montrezl Harrell changes mind

Just four days after Virginia Tech's most highly touted recruit in decades announced his intentions to transfer, its latest star recruit decided to do the same.

Hargrave Military Academy forward Montrezl Harrell, the top-ranked prospect in Virginia Tech's 2012 recruiting class, has asked Virginia Tech for a release from his national letter of intent, coach James Johnson confirmed to The Washington Post Friday morning.

Harrell is ranked No. 89 overall for the class of 2012 on the ESPNU 100, and the No. 18-ranked power forward. No. 38-ranked small forward Marshall Wood last week affirmed his commitment to the Hokies.

Johnson, a former Tech assistant who left the school for a similar position at Clemson just weeks before former coach Seth Greenberg was fired, was hired as coach by athletic director Jim Weaver, in part because of Weaver's hopes for "continuity" in the program.

But Harrell's defection, coupled with the loss of 2012 ACC all-freshman team member Dorian Finney-Smith earlier this week, will leave the Hokies with just eight scholarship players for the 2012-13 season.

"I said it in the press conference and I'm gonna continue to say it: 'I want guys that want to be here,' " Johnson told the Post. "It's a special place and I don't want distractions on campus. I don't want distractions in the locker room. I want guys that want to be here and that are happy and excited about being at Virginia Tech."