While many recruits are currently sorting through a long list of schools they are considering, three programs piled onto the Jason Bohannon bandwagon and took early control with the Linn-Mar High School (Marion, Iowa) junior guard. He hauled in offers from the Big 10 before he played his first game his junior year, with Iowa and Wisconsin taking early plunges. Stanford joined suit and successfully brought him out for the earliest official visit in the history of the Cardinal program in late January. Bohannon has said since last calendar year that his top three favorites were clearly the Card, the Badgers, and the home-state Hawekeys.
Now a fourth major offer has come his way, after a successful showing this past weekend in Dallas (Tex.) with his Martin Brothers AAU squad.
"It happened pretty suddenly, actually. They had their one phone call, but I hadn't heard much from them," Bohannon says of his newest suitor. "We played at the Next Level tournament, and Coach [Kevin] Stallings from Vanderbilt saw me there. Then an assistant came to my school on Monday and offered me a scholarship."
"I played OK in Dallas," he humbly assesses. "I struggled with my shooting, at least by my standards, but I was pretty good in other areas. We went 2-2."
The Commodores are entering the party as you might expect - during this evaluation period when college coaches are getting a good look for the first time at many recruits on their board. But Vanderbilt may have the misfortune in this instance of trailing schools who are already at a very advanced stage in their relationship with the Iowan.
"It's tough to say if they will be able to catch up or not. Anything can happen. They have a good coach, but I just don't know much about them yet," Bohannon comments. "I still have the same top three schools, though no one favorite."
The 6'3" sharpshooter officially visited The Farm in the winter and has taken unofficial visits to Madison and Iowa City. Up next is an official visit he will take next weekend to Wisconsin, which is currently his only planned paid trip of the spring.
"I could maybe take a visit to Iowa, but probably not. They're so close to home and I've been there so many times already," the Linn-Mar junior muses. "I'll go to Wisconsin next Thursday or Friday. It's hard to say right now - I don't want to say they are my favorite - but there is a lot there I like. They've been recruiting me for so long, and just how things are starting to play out. They are definitely starting to be more detailed in how I would fit in their program - as a point guard or shooting guard, and stuff like that."
Bohannon says that four schools have come to see him at his school during this evaluation period: Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, North Carolina State and Northern Iowa. One notable absence is Stanford.
"It's been a few weeks since I talked to them," he says of the Cardinal coaches. "I last talked with Coach [L.J.] Hepp, and he told me they were still waiting to hear from Admissions on my application. I haven't heard anything new."
While other favorites are advancing their recruitment, the Card are apparently caught in quicksand. Bohannon submitted his application some time ago, and as time moves on without an acceptance, he has to think about moving on as well.
"It kind of is tough," he says of his situation with Stanford. "You don't want to put all your work into them when you might not be accepted to the school."
Next weekend's official trip to Madison looks like the biggest event of the spring for Bohannon's recruitment. He says he is uncertain when he will pull the trigger on a college commitment - only that he knows he will do so before the fall. But our best read on his situation is that Wisconsin is sitting in a leadership position. If that visit fares well enough, it would not surprise us to see him commit before the the busy summer travel schedule of camps and tournaments kicks in. Should Bohannon finish his junior year without a commitment, he might play through the July evaluation period to give schools more opportunities to see him. He played only one major event this spring with his Martin Brothers team, and that event in Dallas this past weekend was a secondary priority for many schools who put both their coaches in Houston for the Kingwood Classic.
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