"Big Ticket" Picks Big East

Vernon Macklin announced his college decision on Wednesday. Scout.com's No. 14 player just made one Big East coach extremely happy.

Persistence doesn't pay off for everyone but it did for Georgetown head coach John Thompson III. After chasing Vernon Macklin around the country in July, Macklin (Scout.com's No. 14 prospect) rewarded the coach with a verbal commitment in August.

"I think in today's world a lot of kids feel comfortable with the guys that are recruiting them," Hargrave coach Kevin Keatts said. "I probably saw Boo Williams Summer League play 10-15 times and I saw John Thompson III at every game and I think Vernon felt very good about that."

In picking the Hoyas, Macklin passed on Wake Forest and North Carolina. The Demon Deacons were on him hard in the summer while UNC offered a while back but didn't make the late summer push for him.

Macklin said Georgetown had a few things to offer a guy from the Newport News Area that others couldn't quite match. Remember now, Allen Iverson and Alonzo Mourning have deep Tidewater region roots as does Macklin.

"They develop big men. Guys from our area went there and they weren't just pros, but they were good pros.

"You go on the visit, look at the walls and see everybody from your area so that comes into play. "

In Hoyaland, Macklin will be expected to bring outstanding athleticism, a defensive presence and a powerful finisher to the Hoyas revamped attack. This young man runs the floor swiftly and has been known to throw down the momentum changing dunk. In short, this is a significant commitment for the program that already has DaJuan Summers (No. 48) and Jeremiah Rivers locked up for 2006.

Macklin knows there is work to be done and that's why he's at Hargrave with his pal Stefan Welsh. "I'll be working hard in the classroom and getting my study habits up," Macklin said. "On the court I'll be working on my jump shot and ball handling skills."

"At the end of the day I think his relationship with John Thompson III was the big factor," Keatts said. "John Thompson personally recruited Vernon Macklin and that made the difference."

The "Big Ticket" is headed to D.C. where Hoya basketball is transitioning from afternoon matinee to a highly acclaimed feature film and there's a potential new star on the big screen.

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