Understand that this list will grow considerably longer over the summer and at this stage things can change radically and in a hurry.
Right now the plan is to hand out three scholarships in 2008 with a fourth a real possibility depending upon attrition. The first three will go to two front court players and one backcourt player.
Let's start with the well-known names. Of course that means the "Big Three" in GA - all of whom have already pared down their lists to a manageable number.
Howard Thompkins 6'8 PF - He is currently working from a list of 5: Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Florida, Florida State and Illinois. In reality, it's probably going to be a two team race (GT-UNC). Playing with the Celtics Green 16 and under squad this Spring, Thompkins is a very skilled PF who could grow to center size (His dad is 6'11). GT is definitely in solid shape, and is probably the current leader.
Al-Farouq Aminu 6'8 CF- He just cut his list to 6: Georgia Tech, Florida, Wake Forest, Connecticut, Clemson and Tennessee. (In my opinion, that is also his current favorite order). His move to Norcross has been a big boon to the Jackets as he has become quite tight with 2007 signee Gani Lawal. Assuming that following in his brothers footsteps does not become a major issue, Georgia Tech is strong here as well. A face up 4 who has had a HUGE Spring, Al-Farouq has the potential to play the 3 as well as his perimeter shooting and ballhandling has really improved. He currently plays on the GA Stars under 16 squad.
Chris Singleton 6'7 SF - Chris is already working from a short list of 4. Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Florida and UConn. Another local product that GT is very involved with, SC and FL have both done good jobs with him as well. Right now, those three schools are the favorites. He plays on the Celtics Gold 16 and under squad.
I think GT would love to get 2 of these 3 for 2008, probably 1st two to commit. All 3 have offers from GT. All 3 are playing on campus this weekend as part of the 1st Annual Wallace Prather Memorial AAU Tournament.
Looking slightly further afield in the South. If GT gets fewer than 2 of the above than these become bigger players.
Xavier Gibson 6'9 PF - The big man from Dothan who last summer said Georgia Tech was his "dream school" is working from a short list of GT, AL, FSU and UGA and would like to hear from Duke and UNC. He plays with the GA Blazers and will be at GT this weekend. GT and AL are his likely current top 2.
Romero Osby 6'7 SF - This talented SF from Mississippi has a very long list that includes UNC (his dream school), Wake, Memphis, GT, Louiseville, UConn and Alabama. He will be on campus this weekend as well for the Classic with the MBA Magic.
Ralph Sampson Jr. 6'10 C - The son of the UVA legend has played most of his ball in Alabama and Georgia. He has a current list that includes GT, AL, Miss, and UVA. He has bounced around a fair bit.
Guards are more of a fluid issue and depend more upon who GT gets with its third scholarship for 2007. If it gets one of its top 3 PG then it will look for more of a SG or CG for 2008. A couple of early names to watch include:
Jarvis Jones 6'2 SG - From the same HS as Thad Young comes its next big name. Jones is a deadly shooter that is still growing. According to the Mitchell AD, he already has offers from GT and ILL.
Ray Shipman 6'3 SG - Ray is a fast riser out of FL who is having a big spring, somewhat reminicent of Lewis Clinch. Georgia Tech was one of the first majors on him. Serious interest includes GT, FL and LSU.
James Fields 6'1 PG - This strong heady player from Savannah led Beach to a monster upset over Wheeler in the GA 5A tournament. GT is keeping tabs on his progress. AL and SC are two other early entrants.
There are other names besides these and many more will rise up the charts this summer, but this at least gives an early look at some of the guys who Coach Hewitt and Company are targeting already.