Earlier this month, Reedley (Calif.) Immanuel High School star guard Colin Slater signed his letter of intent to Tulane. His class of 2017 teammate, Darin Person Jr, already has three offers and will be looking to decide on his future home around this time next year.
Person has already impressed scouts with his power and athleticism going into his junior season. Person expects his game to become more versatile over the next two seasons as well.
“I feel like I’m a powerful and dynamic player,” Person Jr. said of his game. “I bring a lot to the game defensively and offensively. I bring a lot of energy, I have a really high motor.
“What’s great about my game the last few years is that I’ve been really expanding so this year is going to be really fun. This year I’ll get to play more of my position I’ll be playing in college - more in and out, a power forward who goes out a little bit. My game keeps improving every year - that’s what makes basketball really fun for me now, seeing myself adding all the post moves. From my freshman year to where I am now, it’s really exciting.”
With his game expanding, Person Jr. projects as either a stretch four or possibly a three. He has the ability to play in the post and the perimeter as well. The junior said he has focused on improving his handles and his shot to continue to stretch his game beyond the paint.
So far, Fresno State, San Jose State and Cal State Bakersfield have offered the 2017 prospect. A list of schools including Denver, Montana, Nevada, Portland, Rice, St. Mary’s, UC Santa Barbara, Utah State and Weber State have all been actively recruiting him as well.
It is still early in the process for the 6-foot-7 and 205-pound forward.
“I’m still just trying to see what they are about academically and their program overall,” Person Jr. said. “I’m not totally sure because I haven’t been around them like that yet. I have gotten to hear their values and all three schools that are recruiting me seem like they have a great coaching staff and great people who are around that are ready to work hard. That’s something that you have to look for and want to be a part of.”
Two schools that he has been offered by, Fresno State and San Jose State, are programs he is fairly familiar with. With his high school about an hour south of Fresno State, he regularly attends Bulldog games. He has also taken an unofficial visit to San Jose State
“They took us to see the facilities and their office, their recreational center, the football stadium - just giving me a feel of San Jose State,” Person Jr. said of his unofficial visit to SJSU. “There was good weather that day too. They were showing me the apartments and all the new stuff they are making there - the dorms, the library and older places too that were really nice to see. It was a good time talking with the coaches. They treated me really well there. I really enjoyed it.”
San Jose State’s transition to the Mountain West has been a struggle, with not only a step up in talent level, but a coaching transition and NCAA sanctions as well. Now the Spartans are looking to take that step in the right direction in Dave Wojcik’s third season as the head coach with the program’s APR scores now in order.
“I see that they are all hard workers and they have a successful coaching staff in terms of where they have been in the past,” Person Jr. said. “They are starting all new, so this year is what they are talking about. That made it seem like they are trustworthy people and they are really determined to do what they want to do. They were telling me about the new players they got and what they want to do. They seemed really vibrant that they are going to lift that program and that was really cool to hear about them.”