Madison Prep’s Jarell Martin has made a meteoric rise through the ranks of boys basketball recruits in the class of 2013.
The 6-foot-9½ senior-to-be has been busy attending camps, tournaments and showcases this summer, pushing his stock even higher. Martin is now rated the nation’s No. 13 prospect by Rivals.com. Louisiana’s top 2013 prospect has also taken stock of his recruiting status and has narrowed his list of colleges to eight finalists. The list includes LSU, along with national heavyweights like UCLA, Texas A&M and Louisville. Martin had more than 60 scholarship offers.
Though he plans to make up to five recruiting trips this fall, Martin said he does not plan to sign during the NCAA’s early season period in November.
“It’s important for me to make the right decision about what school to go to,” Martin said. “I don’t want to rush through this or eliminate a school that would be a good fit for me. I want to concentrate on playing my senior season. Our goal is a to win a state title. I also want to look closely at the colleges I’m interested in and go from there.”
Oklahoma State, St. John’s, Alabama and Tulane are the other finalists Martin said he settled on after meeting for two days with head coach Jeffery Jones and other Madison Prep coaches. Martin leaves Thursday to play in a Los Angeles-based adidas showcase that will match the top prospects from the United States against all-star teams from other nations.
“I think this (narrowing college choices) says a lot about Jarell’s maturity,” Jones said. “He’s handled the recruiting process as well as I can imagine anyone could. He’s been very respectful toward all the schools and the coaches who have contacted him.
“After a while, the process does start to wear on you. Jarell came to me and said it was time to come up with a core group of schools and let the other schools know where they stand.”
Martin led Madison Prep to the Class B semifinals in his first season of high school basketball, 2011-12. Martin, who grew from a 5-11 middle school player to his current height in three years, attended Glen Oaks as a freshman and sat out his sophomore season after transferring to Madison Prep.
After making a splash in summer camps and on the AAU circuit a year ago, Martin made his first prep season memorable. He was voted the Outstanding Player on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class B All-State team after averaging 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Chargers. He also earned All-Metro honors.
Martin’s list of finalists is intriguing for several reasons. Two former Glen Oaks standouts, Trevante Drye (Tulane) and Brian Williams (Oklahoma State), play for schools Martin is considering. Former LSU assistant Butch Pierre also is part of Oklahoma State coaching staff.
When he evaluates colleges, Martin said he will be looking for some specific factors.
“The chance to play right away is something I’m interested in,” Martin said. “Academics will be important. I’ll look at where the program is nationally and what the future looks like.
“And I know I’ll want to go to a school where I’ll have a good relationship with the head coach. There’s a lot to consider.”
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