Collin Sexton's meteoric rise through the recruiting rankings in recent months has resulted in a hectic summer and an increasingly crazy recruitment.
Before the 6-foot-2 point guard from Mableton (Ga.) showcased his skills on Nike’s EYBL circuit in April, he was already a well-regarded Top-50 player in the 2017 class. An impressive spring and USA Basketball performance later and Sexton is now the No. 10 overall prospect in the class, a 5-star player and a blue-chip recruit.
“It’s been crazy,” Sexton said. “A lot of new schools have jumped on like Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and some of those schools have jumped on. But some of the other schools that have been on me for a long time, we’ve been building a greater relationship since they’ve been on me before I got kind of big.”
Sexton, who holds offers from the likes of Arizona, Florida, Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Villanova and Iowa State in addition to a load of other major programs, has been one of the fastest risers in 2017.
His impressive EYBL performance was followed up by a 2-week stint in Colorado where he made USA Basketball’s U17 team. That performance was followed by impressive outputs in Spain, where Sexton led USA to gold while being named tournament MVP.
“We worked really hard in Colorado at the Olympic facility for about two weeks and then we left for Spain. The workouts and stuff were pretty hard and also adjusting to the climate was another step in itself because we were getting tired really quick, but we had to push through it,” Sexton said of the USA Basketball experience. “I thought it was great. I love playing against the best because that only brings out the better in you. You play against the best, that makes you want to go hard and play well.”
Now, Sexton is sorting through a clouded recruitment.
He’ll bounce around to a number of tournaments during the July evaluation period while also hitting Victor Oladipo’s camp. Sexton doesn’t currently have any visits scheduled, but has a group of schools he’d like to eventually hit.
“I’m trying to get to Arizona for sure, Florida, Texas and Iowa State," he said.
Iowa State was an early suitor for Sexton beginning last year and has remained in constant contact. Sexton’s first thoughts of Iowa State were planted by his friend and Iowa State point guard Monte Morris, who has spent time in Georgia in each of the last two offseasons with his trainer, Flint (Mich.) native Nick Stapleton, who also trains Sexton.
Morris spent a week and a half in Georgia in May.
“It showed me that he works hard,” Sexton said of those workouts. “Everything that he’s got has come from his hard work and he told me, ‘Always keep striving. Don’t be content about where [you] are, always try to get better in every aspect of the game whether that’s learning watching film or the techniques and fundamentals on the court like passing and dribbling.’”
Morris and Sexton don’t spend much time talking about the details of Sexton’s recruitment, though the elder has given him advice about feeling out schools.
Could Sexton see himself at Iowa State?
“Yeah, because me and Monte play pretty much the same game,” Sexton said. “Like I did in USA, he can score the ball really well, but as far as college, I want to play just like him — assist, rebound and just be able to run the team.
“They talk about me being able to come in and fill his shoes because he’s leaving for the NBA next year. [Steve Prohm] knows what it takes. He’s coached some good guards, some really good guards who have been pretty good in the NBA.”
Sexton’s initial summer decision timeline is likely on hold after his recruitment rapidly picked up. He expects to take trips in the months ahead — including his five official visits — and will make a decision sometime after his final official visit.
And while his list of suitors is large, Sexton is looking past the jerseys.
"I’m just trying to find the best fit and the best relationship no matter the school, size, the name, I’m just trying to be able to come in and be able to play," Sexton said. "Sometimes people make decisions on the school name and not the best fit, so I just want to look at the best situation for me and my family."
Sexton's Key Factors
"One is education. I’m really good in the classroom — hold a 3.7 GPA right now — so that’s first and foremost. I would like going there and probably doing something with business as far as my degree. Then being able to come in and play and having the freshman learning curve and being battled and just growing as a player and not being sat on the bench."