At this point in the year, a Top 5 prospect like 6-foot-9 junior Vernon Macklin, usually has a great sense of who really wants him. Usually.
"I don't think [colleges are] giving me much attention," Macklin said.
Say what? That's right, the young man basically feels like few colleges are really chasing him. Come on, a kid who runs, jumps, leaps, blocks shots and dunks with the best of them and he doesn't feel loved?
Well folks, it's a lot harder recruiting Macklin than you might think. The gifts he has and the athleticism that comes across in the way he plays makes it tough to overlook the fact that the NBA offers scholarships too and they're worth slightly more over three years than what a college can offer in scholarships.
"It's fair [to get little recruiting attention] because they think I might be going straight and instead of looking at me, they look at another guy going to college," Macklin said.
Macklin doesn't run from the talk of making the leap out of high school and our game has advanced to the point where, as a junior, we can realistically project him as one of the players that is likely to have that option. From the sounds of who has been to see him, college recruiters are thinking exactly that.
North Carolina, Wake Forest and Maryland make up Macklin's list, not that he has a list at this point. "I get a lot of letters from Carolina," Macklin said, "that's basically what I see so far."
At this point in his recruitment, Macklin isn't worried about who's in the crowd, which programs have offered or what might be his chances of playing as a freshman, normal questions most prospects are getting answered right now.
What will likely happen with the "Big Ticket" is he'll go through the summer and check his NBA stock. If he has the exact summer he did last year, you can expect his name to roll off the tongue of the NBA types and his stock will soar thus making it unlikely that he'll ever step foot on a college campus.
For now, his recruitment is basically in limbo. Sure, plenty of schools will see him with Boo Williams this spring and summer but mainly because they'll be evaluating the other prospects on the high-profile AAU team.
"I'll take visits but I'm not looking to commit right now," Macklin said.