Don't be fooled by the casual look and the slick smile. Devan Bawinkle has the type of game that will knock your socks off.
As native of Winnebago, IL, the 6-4 190-pound shooting guard is one of the top players in the class of 2006. This summer, playing for the Illinois Wolves, Bawinkle elevated his game enough that dozens of high profile programs have expressed serious interest.
Including the Ohio State Buckeyes.
"They have sent me a lot of mail, a lot of letters and everything, telling me they are working very hard on this next class," Bawinkle told Bucknuts Wednesday evening. "They have talked to my high school coach several times. They are really interested in me."
Ohio State is only one of many teams interested in Bawinkle, however. Last year as a sophomore, Bawinkle averaged 14.3 points a game in leading his team to a 31-2 record and an appearance in the Illinois Class-A state title game.
Besides Ohio State, many other schools are after him.
"California, Notre Dame, N.C. State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Marquette, Illinois, Northern Illinois, DePaul, Northwestern, Baylor, and I guess Georgetown too," Bawinkle said.
Bawinkle has spent a lot of time checking out colleges over the past year or so.
Last season, Bawinkle was able to check out Illinois, Marquette, Notre Dame, and Northwestern amongst other places.
This fall, however, he was getting to see quite a bit of football as he spent nearly every weekend visiting yet another campus.
He visited Michigan State for the Notre Dame game, Notre Dame for the Stanford game, Illinois for the Michigan game, Northwestern for the Purdue game, and also made trips to Northern Illinois and Iowa.
Growing up, Bawinkle said he was an Illinois fan, although he mostly just loved to watch basketball in any capacity he could.
"I remember when I was younger getting to go watch DePaul when Quentin Richardson was there," Bawinkle recalled. "That was really cool."
Bawinkle not only loves basketball, but he also seems to keep very up-to-date with all the schools he's looking at, past and present.
In fact, he was offended by the absence of one former Buckeye from the Olympic team.
"I would have liked to see Michael Redd on the U.S. Olympic team," Balwinkle suggested. "I think he's a great player."
Currently, Bawinkle seems to have a lot of Ohio State influence around his town, just about 90 minutes west of Chicago.
"Everyone's really into Craig Krenzel right about now," Bawinkle joked. "Everyone is a Bears fan, and Krenzel is really popular."
Like Krenzel, Bawinkle takes academics very seriously.
Bawinkle is hoping to major in communications or business in college. He also has an interest in journalism or broadcasting.
He's a very intelligent kid that keeps himself extremely informed. Not only that, but he carries a 4.0 GPA.
"Academics are really important," he said. "I want to make the most of myself no matter what I'm doing in life whether it's basketball or something else."
Academics are also going to play a big part in where he will go to college.
Right now, Bawinkle is trying to educate himself on each school and what they have to offer both academically and in basketball. He shared what he knew about Ohio State right now.
"I know they have a new staff and I know they are working very hard to build that program," he added. "I still don't know as much about them as I would like. They have said they wanted to get their 2005 recruiting class out of the way, and now that they have, they are focusing on this class and I'm one of the guys they are looking at."
Bawinkle is hoping this winter is a good chance to learn more about Ohio State and some other schools.
He didn't get to visit this fall, but he will make more visits during the season.
"I really want to get to Ohio State," he said. "I'm hoping to check out Ohio State, California, and N.C. State sometime during the season if I can."
Some would say that Bawinkle is a coach's dream. He's a smart kid who takes school seriously, comes from a solid family background, and he can play a little ball too.
You could carry on a conversation with him, and he may tell you about the latest in politics, he might tell you about how former players of your alma mater are doing, or he might chat with you about the latest going on in sports.
But keep a close eye on him this season, and his game will do the talking.