UNC Prioritizing Tatum

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Harry Giles is the youngest player to receive a scholarship offer from North Carolina during Roy Williams's tenure. Jayson Tatum is okay with being the second youngest.

"The offer came after the Peach Jam," said Tatum, a consensus Top 5 prospect in the Class of 2016. "That was the second time Coach Roy Williams saw me play. About a week or two after that I talked to him on the phone and he officially offered. It meant a lot to be the second-youngest player he's ever offered.'

Tatum is a 6-foot-7, 175-pound wing from St. Louis (Mo.) Chaminade College Prep. He describes himself as a versatile wing who can play the "1" through the "4" and will do anything asked of him to win.

"I defend well, I feel like I'm a good rebounder and I can score," he explained. "But my favorite part is finding open teammates. I love to get past my man. I'm always keeping my head on a swivel looking for open teammates."

Along with his unselfish play, Tatum's natural athleticism and ability to shoot well from distance have already made him one of the most wanted players in all of college basketball.

Missouri, Kansas, Marquette, Memphis, Ohio State, Kentucky, Florida, Indiana, Michigan State and UNC are just some of the schools that have already offered Tatum.

And he's still five months from his 16th birthday.

"I feel like I'm a priority for most of the schools," Tatum said. "It's an honor to be recruited by all of them already and I'm just starting my sophomore year."

The Tar Heels continued their pursuit of Tatum when Williams and assistants Steve Robinson and C.B. McGrath traveled to St. Louis a couple weeks ago.

"It's crazy when you have an open gym and Roy Williams walks in," said Tatum. "That's a special feeling."

Tatum said that being recruited by North Carolina is also a special feeling.

"I love North Carolina," he said. "They have a great school and I love the way he gets after his kids, they play extremely hard for him. If they play hard for you, that means you're well respected and you know what you're doing. Coach Roy is a great guy."

During the fall, Tatum hopes to visit Ohio State for a football game and will be attending Kentucky's Midnight Madness event. He said he plans to try and get to Chapel Hilll.

"When I was younger, I didn't watch North Carolina that much because honestly I never thought I'd be this good or have them actually wanting me," he said. "I'll be keeping up with them from now on."

At the USA Camp, Tatum, like fellow UNC target Seventh Woods, is in his second year in the program despite being among the youngest players on the roster. Winning a gold medal last year, he says, provided even more confidence that he could compete against the country's best.

"This camp has been awesome," he said. "Last year it was good, but this year it's more guys and you add in (the class of) 2014. It's been a great experience."

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