After several scheduled trips failed, Jarrett Mann recently made his greatly anticipated unofficial visit to Stanford. The four-star small forward prospect from Middletown (Del.) High School reports a favorable review of his weekend on The Farm.
"Everything was beautiful," Mann begins. "As far as the things on campus, I liked the facilities and the gym. I liked the gym a lot. Also the museums. The academics they have are pretty impressive. While I was out there, it wasn't the greatest weather. It was a little chilly, but I can understand how the temperature can be. It was just a really nice area."
"I got to play with the guys," he continues. "Anthony Goods and Landry Fields were really cool. They had a little barbeque, and I got to eat with them. Basically I was able to talk with them and see how Stanford was. Just see how other guys liked it. These are the guys you will play with, so you want to be comfortable with them. And I was. Seeing how all the coaches get together and joke around with each other and how they interact was cool also."
Goods and Fields are a pair of California kids, so it was important for Mann to see how he meshed with the culture on the West Coast.
"I don't think there was a big difference," he judges. "Of course, there are little differences in the way you act or talk to each other, but we're basically the same type of kids. We're smart. There wasn't like any big barrier between the East and West Coast. I don't think that's really a big issue."
Mann flew alone but was joined on the visit by his father, who was separately in San Francisco for business.
"My dad was there," says the son. "Especially him with Coach [Trent] Johnson - they got along really well. He was able to just view everything. He didn't want to put an opinion in my head. He just wanted to see how I like it."
"I was comfortable," Mann measures. "It's always difficult because you feel really comfortable, but you also want to take your time making your decision. I felt really comfortable, but I didn't want to go really crazy. I still have more time with my recruitment."
Prior to his trip, the Delaware athlete talked excitedly about the Cardinal and opined that a verbal commitment could come during the trip or soon thereafter. While his feelings on Stanford remain high, other dimensions of Mann's recruitment are developing and changing his overall approach toward a college decision.
"Stanford is still probably my number one school, but the way I've played in the last few tournaments, my recruitment has picked up unexpectedly," Mann says. "I thought it was a little late, but I just got an offer from Virginia Tech. I'm being recruited by a lot more schools now, like Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and NC State. I may hold out on my decision a little longer."
"I want to take at least three official visits in the fall before I make my decision," he declares. "I'm aiming at the November period."
Mann adds that Wake Forest, who previously sat second behind Stanford on his list, is now "out of the picture."
Following the Hokies' new scholarship offer, Mann has scheduled an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech on May 11. He will also trip to Baylor and Texas in August.
As a rule of recruiting, a school's brightest prospects come immediately following a visit - official or unofficial. Some observers might say that Stanford's chances are fading. The Cardinal were previously in the driver's seat and now hear the news after Mann's trip that he wants to take his recruitment to the fall.
"I wouldn't say their chances decrease," Mann explains. "I just feel like when I'm in Delaware during the season, I'm not being seen by that many coaches. My game has improved, and a lot of coaches haven't see that. My summer is like my real season, so I feel like I need to take advantage of that."
His play during the April evaluation period was a big step toward the greater exposure and opportunity Mann seeks.
"At the Charlie Weber, I really shot the ball well. I was hitting three's and pull-up jump shots," he describes. "The Pittsburgh Jam Fest was a big tournament for me. I really showed my athleticism, as far as dunks and really getting into the lane at will. I was being a lot more versatile, and my defense was really good in Pittsburgh."
Meanwhile, there is some important Stanford news expected to develop soon. Mann brought with him to The Farm the remaining pieces of his admissions application. The verdict from the Office of Admissions, which determines whether or not Mann has an opportunity to attend Stanford, is soon to hit.
"I turned everything in, and it's being evaluated," Mann offers. "They say in the next week or so, I should find out. They said it would take three to five weeks."
While he reportedly enjoyed the visit, Jarrett Mann is now apparently further from a Stanford commitment than he was before his visit. The Delaware standout says that he and the Cardinal coaches are good.
"I feel really comfortable at the school, and I really liked it. I don't think my feelings changed any," the recruit claims. "Coach Johnson and Coach G [Donny Guerinoni] haven't been in any rush getting me to commit or anything. They're not rushing me at all."
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