Class of 2012 power forward Jarnell Stokes (#17) is one of the best players in the country and is being chased by some of the top programs in all of college basketball. He has agreed to give National Recruiting Spotlight exclusive access to his life and recruitment in his player blog and will reveal any important developments regarding his recruitment in these entries. Make sure you follow him @JarnellStokes on Twitter!
What’s up readers! This is Jarnell Stokes! I’m so excited to start writing this blog to let everyone know not only about my recruitment, but how life is off the court also! I get to show my intellectuality! Hahahaha!
I’m a quiet and humble guy out of Memphis, Tennessee, with two brothers and a little sister. My older brother is at the University of Tennessee, while my younger brother is in the 8th grade. Although I wear a size 20 shoe, he wears a 17 already! I definitely will have BIG shoes to fill as he gets older! Literally!
I play for the YOMCA and my head coach/trainer is Jevonte Holmes. We work out at all times of the day and it has proven effective. Luckily school is out so I don’t have to work out at five in the morning anymore! My team won the Real Deal on the Rock and qualified for the Nike EYBL Peach Jam and went on a 36-game winning-streak before losing last weekend.
How about the NBA Finals! It’s great to see two new dynasties battle it out for the trophy! Although I hate that people have doubted LeBron [James] as a winner, I still am happy that the Mavs pulled it off! Isn’t it great seeing Dirk [Nowitzki] and [Jason] Kidd retire with hard-fought rings? I’m just glad Dirk and Kidd were able to get a championship because they failed so many times. Kidd is about to retire, he may retire this year, and Dirk is the most underrated player in the league, maybe in this decade.
Hopefully LeBron will be able to get one in the future but I just don’t think it was his time right now. All the criticism he has been getting comes with him being “The King.” He needs to live up to those standards or people will criticize him if he doesn’t.
To switch subjects, it’s a true blessing from God to be wanted and honestly recruiting can become an enormous amount of pressure because you don’t want to let anyone down. Getting lots of tweets from college fans shows how much you’re wanted. I haven’t narrowed my list down but I have a very strong top six. They are Arkansas, Memphis, Florida, Tennessee, UConn and Kentucky.
At Arkansas, they teach family and they have a history with Memphis guys. I’m just real close with their coaching staff and they’ve been recruiting me since 7th or 8th grade. Memphis has been recruiting me since 8th grade too and I like that [assistant] coach [Jack] Murphy is from the NBA. He knows what it takes to get to the league since he’s been at that level. With [head] coach [Josh] Pastner, I just think he’s a cool, down-to-earth guy. He’s one of the future great head coaches in college basketball.
With Florida, I just like the tradition of big men that they’ve had like Udonis Haslem and Al Horford. They just have a winning tradition and I grew up watching those guys. It was big for me to be recruited by [head coach] Billy Donovan. And at Tennessee, I was really high on them before [former head coach] Bruce Pearl got fired but the new coaching staff seems cool. Although, our relationship isn’t up to par like it is with the other coaching staffs which is kind of hurting their chances. They just really haven’t had as much time. They’ve been recruiting me since day one but they just got there. As for UConn, I like them because they’re the National Champions and they have a rich tradition. [Head coach] Jim Calhoun sends people to the pros and you have to like that.
These schools are the ones recruiting me the most and I see a good opportunity to win at them in the future. I’m going to make my choice based off of whatever school my heart is in and I hope to play combo-forward in college so I can play inside and out. I also have a good relationship with the coaching staffs at all of these schools. Out of these six schools, three of them have a great chance of landing me. Who knows?
This past weekend, I went to Adidas Nation in Houston, Texas and it was a great experience. I learned what I need to work on and it’s great competing against the best guys in your class. It was a really good learning experience and now I know what I need to work on. I struggled playing more in the perimeter but sometimes you have to get beat up a little bit so you can get something out of it.
I tweet basically everything that comes to mind so follow me @JarnellStokes. Basically I let my game do my talking. Stay tuned for more on recruiting and my workout schedule… I may just reveal those three schools that have the best chance…
Thanks again to Jarnell Stokes for giving us an inside look at his life and recruitment. If you would like Jarnell to talk about anything specific, you can send an e-mail to National Recruiting Spotlight at firstname.lastname@example.org with your tips and suggestions. Don’t forget to follow both Jarnell (@JarnellStokes) and Josh (@JoshPaunilNRS) on Twitter.