Rich Decision

Jason Rich made his announcement on Thursday afternoon at a news conference. His decision may shock more than a few fans.

Jason Rich had the unenviable task of having to choose between the up-and-coming local school or the one with all the tradition and exposure already in place. In the end, the 6-3 ½, 185-pound Dr. Phillips (Fla.) wing chose to help rebuild Florida State rather than head to Bluegrass country.

Rich made it official, picking the Seminoles over Kentucky at a news conference following school on Thursday afternoon. However, he spoke to in an exclusive interview prior to the announcement.

``It was a gut feeling," Rich said. "I feel like that's where I can grow and develop."

``This was the hardest decision of my life," he added. "At the end of the day, I turned down one of the finest programs in the country."

Rich, arguably the top in-state senior, was the Seminoles top priority. He's a terrific athlete who has dramatically improved his outside shot over the past year. But his biggest asset may come with the intangibles he brings to the court.

``What sets Jason apart is his leadership and the fact that he's such a winner," Nike Team Florida head man Tom Topping said. "He's willing to do whatever it takes to will his team to victory. His personality and leadership skills are contagious."

Rich averaged 23 points, 6.1 rebounds and four assists per game as a junior at Dr. Phillips after transferring from Lake Highland. He was also, at one time, considering Indiana and Georgia Tech.

``I felt like Florida State gave me an opportunity to leave my mark," Rich said. "That's what I want to do."

Rich will get some help. He joins Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) combo guard Isaiah Swann in the ‘Noles recruiting class. FSU coach Leonard Hamilton and the staff will now focus its efforts on landing Mississippi forward Charles Thomas.

``When a team gets Jason, they don't just get him," Topping added. "Other recruiting classes will follow."

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