Mississippi State first started recruiting Gerdarius a little over a month ago thanks in large part to coach Corry Black. Coach Black is the owner and talent evaluator of CBHoops.com and the Assistant Director of JucoReport.com. He has coached on the junior college and D2 college levels as well as on the AAU circuit. After seeing Troutman play and getting to know him, Black felt like Troutman would be a good fit at several colleges, including Mississippi State.
"This kid is different because he's a great kid, a high values, Christian kid," said Black. "That's part of the reason I reached out to a few places and Mississippi State was one of those places. I talked to their coaching staff at least a month ago and they said they needed shooters."
Taylor County High School's season ended recently. That allowed Troutman the chance to finally set up his visit to Mississippi State. And he couldn't be happier about the upcoming visit.
"He's pretty excited right now to be visiting there this weekend," said Austin Guinn, who has known Gerdarius his entire life and is like an older brother to him. "This is obviously SEC country around here. He's grown up his whole life knowing about the SEC, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Florida. It's a way of life here. He's excited that it is a big-time school with big-time interest in him. He told me he's got an open mind and he can't wait to get to Starkville and check out the campus."
Troutman has a talent that the Mississippi State basketball coaches are in dire need of, outside shooting.
"Gerdarius is probably one of the best unknown shooters in the country in my opinion," said Black. "He is an unbelievable shooter, unbelievable. I don't know how many college rosters have a better shooter than him. If they do, then I would like to see it."
Guinn has seen Troutman's shooting ability during his entire basketball career, from rec ball to AAU to high school.
"He's about 6-foot-4, about 170 and is a tremendous shooter," said Guinn. "He can shoot it really well off of the dribble. A lot of people label him, if not the best, one of the best shooters in the state (of Georgia)."
As a sophomore, Gerdarius scored 19 points per game, making 87 threes. His junior season he increased his scoring to 24.4 pionts per game, making 125 threes. Playing point guard for the first time in his career his senior season he scored 22.4 points per game (66 threes) while averaging 4.3 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Guinn believes he's more than just a shooter, though.
"He can get to the rack and he can dunk with both hands," said Guinn. "He can dribble and rebound (well). He played AAU with the Georgia Kings in Columbus, Georgia. He's been All-State since he was in the 10th grade. He was all-region player of the year last year for region 4A-AA. He was on the GACA All-Star team, the north versus south game. He's had multiple 40+ point games this year. He's also had a few triple doubles this year."
Both men feel like he is very much under the radar recruiting-wise.
"If this kid played in Atlanta, Georgia everybody in the country would be after him," said Black. "But Gerdarius is located in a town in a place that is not easily accessible. People don't want to just get in the car and go see him due to where he is located. Everybody prefers going to Atlanta and going to 10 different high schools. Gerdarius also didn't play on a high level AAU team. When you don't play at high level AAU ball, then you aren't going to be (highly) recruited. And his high school team wasn't very good. So, when you start dealing with all of those factors, then you see why Gerdarius' recruiting isn't what it should be and why he is under the radar."
Guinn agrees with that statement.
"We live in a small town of about 2,000 people and he goes to a small public school in the middle of nowhere," said Guinn. "You would really have to want to come here to just see Gerdarius. But if you are a head coach of a major college you can go to Atlanta (instead) and see just about any game you want to because millions of people live there. If he went to St. Francis or Greater Atlanta Christian in Atlanta he would have been offered by every (major) school in the country.
"He could have played on any AAU team in Atlanta this past travel season but this is the kind of person that he is, he said, 'I can't do my team like that, I'm going to be loyal to my team, the team I've played on since the 8th grade.' That's just the kind of kid he is. He's a great character kid. He's a Christian kid and he believes that God will work it out. He could have played with the Southern Stampede or the Atlanta Celtics. They all wanted him to play for them but he wanted to stay loyal to his team."
Despite not being in a high-profile situation, Troutman still has interest from several colleges.
"Southern University in Louisiana has offered him as has Youngstown State in Ohio," said Guinn. "Wofford has pretty much offered him. St. Peters in New Jersey is another one that has been after him really hard. South Alabama and Mercer have shown a lot of interest. Troy was really, really interested in him but they just got their last spot taken by a guy in Macon."
Although he doesn't have an offer from Mississippi State, Guinn believes it's likely one will be forthcoming.
"As far as I know, he doesn't have a committable offer at this point but I talked to (Mississippi State assistant) Coach (George) Brooks on the phone for about an hour last night (Tuesday) and he is pretty serious about Gerdarius," said Guinn. "The kid is just a shooter and that's why they are so high on him. Mississippi State feels like they have found a diamond in the rough and they want to get on him before he blows up."
In addition to being a high profile school that is in the SEC, another factor that is in Mississippi State's favor is George Brooks.
"Gerdarius and Coach Brooks talk daily," said Guinn. "He's got a really good relationship with Coach Brooks and likes him a lot. He's just a good, honest person. Gerdarius doesn't want someone who will string him along and just play the (recruiting) game with him. He just wants someone to be honest with him. And we feel like that is how Coach Brooks has been and we appreciate that."
An offer from Mississippi State would be a very significant development in Troutman's recruitment.
"If he receives the offer from Mississippi State it would be his biggest offer and something that he would really have to think about," said Guinn. "While he is loyal to the schools that have been recruiting him for a long time, an offer from Mississippi State would be big."
See Gerdarius (No. 14 in white) during his junior season in the video below. He had 47 points, including 11 three-pointers, in the game.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.