Howard Thompkins is a 6'8", 215 lb power forward from Norcross, Georgia and is listed here at Scout.com as the #1 PF in the class of 2008 and a definite five-star athlete. Last night I spoke with the father of Howard Thompkins, Jr. and he's a parent that is really paying close attention to what players colleges are bringing in.
"Right now Illinois is in his top three choices of schools. We are going to be down there real soon. We want to visit and get a good look at the campus and the atmosphere," he said.
Many feel that at this stage of the game Thompkins has all the tools to play at the next level - he's that talented. "We know right now what Illinois has done and who their number one signed recruit is. Eric Gordon is a player; we've talked to him before. Also, another kid they are after is Matt Simpkins. He's a nice player - I really like his game," stated Thompkins.
Many close to Thompkins feel that Georgia, Georgia Tech and Florida will be major factors when his recruitment is all said and done.
When you talk Illinois basketball and recruiting with anyone the first names that come up are Eric Gordon and 6-4 guard Demetri McCamey of Westchester St. Joseph in Illinois, and this kid from Chicago Simeon High School - Derrick Rose. "Oh yes, we know Derrick Rose. We have talked with him, too. He's a great player. Illinois is really trying to put together a great group of players. I like what they are doing," he added.
Thompkins admits that the Illinois coaches are very fair, cordial and honest with them. He does talk a lot with Assistant Coaches Jay Price and Tracy Webster. It's very obvious this staff is working hard to put together a group of players that will challenge any college basketball team in the nation. Stay tuned for information when Thompkins plans his visit to Champaign.