Jaycee Carroll an Aggie

Courted by the likes of Wyoming, Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, Carroll chooses Utah State.


EVANSTON, Wyo. -- Evanston High School's high-scoring standout Jaycee Carroll has signed with Utah State.

Carroll averaged 39.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.6 steals in leading the Red Devils to a fifth-place finish at the Class 4A boys state tournament this year.

Carroll, a two-time Gatorade player of the year in Wyoming, expects to play shooting guard. He was recruited by about 60 colleges from NAIA to NCAA Division I but had narrowed his choices to Utah State, Wyoming, Brigham Young, Utah and Idaho State.

"Playing at Wyoming ... that was never really my goal," he said Wednesday. " ... (Utah State) showed a lot of interest to begin with. They took care of me, watched me, and it's a really good program."

Carroll agreed to sign with the Aggies in return for Utah State's verbal agreement to leave a scholarship open for him when he returns from a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"They've dealt with missionaries before so they know how it works," he said.

He is expected to be called for his mission in July or August and prefers to serve in a foreign country.

Wyoming coach Steve McClain, who said he will likely fill his last remaining scholarship in about a week, said Carroll wasn't very interested in Wyoming.

"You know how much I recruited (current UW player) Marc Bailey? I had one conversation for 20 minutes, but he wanted to come to Wyoming," McClain said. "Jaycee Carroll didn't want to come to Wyoming."

Carroll's high school coach, Bubba O'Neill, disagreed.

"He wanted to go to Wyoming, but I don't think Wyoming wanted him as badly as Utah State did," he said. "He really felt like he was their (Utah State's) No. 1 guy. He may not have been, but they treated him like he was.

"I'm a Wyoming guy, and my first love is the University of Wyoming. But I couldn't be more proud of Jaycee's decision."

McClain is expected to sign a junior college power forward to restock the Cowboys' front line, which will lose All-America honorable mention Josh Davis, Ronnell Mingo and Ugo Udezue. Guard Paris Corner is the other departing senior.

So far, McClain has signed Sheridan College swingman Jerry Webb and Aurora, Colo., Smoky Hill High School forward Supo Jegede. UW also will have forward-center Ryan Wildenborg and guard David Adams available after sitting out a season under the NCAA's transfer rules.

Another top Wyoming prepster, Doug Baker, of Chugwater, remains undecided about his college plans but said he will pick a school in a week or two.

Baker averaged nearly 36 points and eight rebounds his senior year and scored 51 points in the Class 1A championship game, leading the Buffaloes to the title.

"It's been harder to get recognized from a small town, but it keeps you motivated," he said.

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