Recruiting process grows tedious for Spartans’ Simpson


By Vince Koza - Contributing Columnist



Being recruited I think would be a cool thing.

Now to be honest, I have not been recruited before.

I did score 51 points in a high school intramural basketball game once, but didn’t play the sport at the varsity level.

In fact, I didn’t play any sports at the varsity level, announcing them instead, when I was in high school.

Football, basketball, even wrestling.

And of course, when I was in high school and college coaches were recruiting prep athletes, well, that era was much different than it is today.

AAU basketball and the summer is now the prime time for college coaches to recruit high school players for sure.

It’s been a great summer for Lima Senior hoop standout Xavier Simpson.

He has traveled all over the country, either playing on his father’s King James AAU team, or being invited to participate in prestigious summer camps.

And “X” is being recruited by major college programs everywhere.

But can I tell you that the young man is tiring of the recruiting process?

Tired of being wanted?

Wow!

“I’m definitely getting tired of it (recruiting), and I want to get it over with,” he told me last Saturday on “Sportstalk with Koza.” “But I also want to make sure that I make the right decision on where I go to college.”

We thought that “X” was announcing his college choice last May 20th.

A press release had been sent out by the Lima Senior athletic department that said Xavier was going to announce his decision at 5’oclock that night.

But just hours after the release had been sent out, “X’s” dad Quincey canceled the news conference.

“I had to step in because I want the best decision for “X”,” Quincey told me. “I wanted to make sure that he wasn’t rushing into a decision, and that all of the pieces were in place.”

So, “X” is still being recruited.

And the scholarship offers continue.

The latest schools to offer include: Miami of Florida, Indiana, U.N.L.V. and Cal.

He had previously announced his final seven of Iowa, Iowa State, Xavier, Purdue, Illinois, Pitt and Virginia Commonwealth, but this week eliminated the Musketeers from that list.

Xavier playing at Xavier seemed like a fit at least in name recognition, right?

But it has got to be a good fit for “X”, and now he looks elsewhere.

Xavier makes his first official visit to a potential college destination this weekend when he goes to Iowa State.

He is allowed five official visits, and Dad says “X” would like to make one more visit to a school, before he starts his senior year of high school Aug. 18.

And for you Buckeye fans out there, “X” has made an unofficial visit to Ohio State, but there has been no scholarship offer.

Yet.

Xavier Simpson was the state’s Division I Co-Player of the Year and First Team All-State and that was as a junior.

He led the Spartans to the regional championship game in Toledo last March.

The year before, he helped Lima Central Catholic win the Division III State Championship.

He is a PLAYER!

Every day, “X” continues to get several text messages, phone calls and letters from college coaches that want him to play for their program.

I’m jealous.

He’s tired of it!

Good luck to “X” on making his college decision.

A college basketball program will be better when he makes that choice, for sure!

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By Vince Koza

Contributing Columnist

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