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It took Julion Pearre one official visit to decide.

Utah State was the only place he went to, but it felt right. The basketball coaching staff and the players seemed like a good fit. He liked the campus and and the fan support he saw during a sellout football game against Weber State.

Most of all, he liked Utah State's track record.

"It's a winning program," Pearre said. "They know how to win. I want to be a part of that."

The 6-foot-3 senior guard from McKinney North High in a far-flung suburb near Dallas, Texas, committed to the Aggies men's basketball team Friday night, tweeting it out and joining Utah State's 2014 class. His only reservation in picking the Aggies was distance, which he decided with his parents wouldn't be too much of a problem.

Pearre is a stat-sheet stuffer at his high school, last season helping them reach the Texas State regional semifinals (the fourth round of seven games, for non-Texas folk). He's a thin but athletic guard who can get to the rim, but also takes pride in his defense, he said.

"I'm not afraid to play defense on the inside," he said. "I think I can help bring that mentality."

Aggies' assistant Tarvish Felton stayed in close contact with Pearre throughout the summer, building a relationship. He liked meeting Stew Morrill, and other Texas players on the roster, such as Preston Medlin and Jarred Shaw, made him feel more at ease.

After his official visit, it wasn't hard for Pearre to pick Utah State over Weber State and a couple of Ivy League programs he had been considering. Other Texas schools, such as Texas State and Texas Corpus-Christi, were interested.

For Pearre, the level of competition he'll face in the Mountain West helped make the decision a no-brainer. He's looking forward to playing UNLV, San Diego State and others when he gets to Logan.

"The conference they're moving into, I understand that there's some really high-caliber programs," he said. "Playing those teams twice a year will really help me elevate my game."

Pearre said he was relieved to be able to focus on his McKinney North team, which has high hopes again returning six key varsity players this fall.

But he'll also be trying to help recruit for Utah State, he said, starting with small forward Ty Charles, the other recruit who went on an official visit with him.

"I'm going to try to talk to Ty, see what he's thinking," he said. "If I can, I'm going to recruit some of these guys and get them to come."

At the moment, Pearre and guard Sam Merilll are the only high school players committed to the Aggies, and Merrill plans on serving an LDS Church mission after graduation.

Kyle Goon

kgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon

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