Leslie: 'I'm Open to Everybody'

CARY, N.C. -- Raleigh (NC) Word of God power forward C.J. Leslie was one of the top performers in the 2009 Carolina Challenge, and he discusses his recruitment with Pack Pride.

Raleigh (NC) Word of God power forward C.J. Leslie showed why some consider him the top in-state prospect in the 2010 class at Saturday's 2009 Carolina Challenge.

At 6-foot-8 and 200 pounds, Leslie has world-class athleticism and uses it extremely well on both ends of the floor. He contests all shots in the paint and soars over defenders for putbacks, rebounds, and dunks offensively. Rated a five-star prospect and the No. 16 player in the his class by Scout.com, Leslie says he is just looking to play up to his ability.

"It's been fun out here playing," said Leslie. "There are a lot of good players here, not just in my class but the classes below mine. I want to go out every game and play as well as I can, and if I do that then I think people will know how good I am."

Leslie made headlines recently when he reopened his recruitment. The combo forward committed to NC State in 2007, picking the hometown school for a variety of reasons, but by committing in the spring of his freshman year, Leslie didn't get a chance to experience the recruiting process.

"I felt that I didn't want to make any mistakes," said Leslie. "I committed early, and I wanted to see what else is out there as far as taking visits... I wanted to experience that, going to other campuses. I just wanted to see what else is out there."

Leslie stated that the decision to decommit was strictly his, pointing out that his family didn't play a role in his decision but would support whatever he chooses to do. When he finalized the decision, he notified NC State head coach Sidney Lowe.

"Well, coach Lowe was disappointed," said Leslie. "He wasn't mad, but I think disappointed. He told me that they were still going to recruit me. I'm looking forward to continue hearing from them."

"It's been a fun process."

A couple of days ago, Leslie and his mother stopped by NC State's Dail Center to talk about his recruitment even more with coach Lowe.

"Actually I went over to campus to talk with NC State this week," said Leslie. "It went real well. Coach Lowe wanted to talk with me more about the situation. I thought it went well... talking with him about everything."

When five-star prospects become available, high-major programs will come calling. Maintaining that he is wide open, Leslie indicated that he has already been contacted by several schools, including a few others from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"I'm open to everybody right now, but there have been a few schools that have contacted me," he stated. "Virginia Tech, UNC, Miami, UCONN, Florida Gators, Maryland.... there have been a whole lot. It's been a fun process.

"I'm open to anyone who wants to recruit me. There aren't any schools that I really want to hear from, I'm open to everybody right now."

Don't expect another quick decision from Leslie. It appears that he plans on taking some time before giving another verbal commitment.

"Being that I committed early the first time, I feel like I want to wait it out," he said. "Whenever I feel comfortable again with a school, that's when I'll commit. I'm really looking forward to my senior year and kind of waiting it out."

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