College coaches aren't in the business of recruiting the junior varsity players. Al-Farouq Aminu changed the way coaches do things though this year at Norcross (Ga.) High School.
The 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward from the class of 2008 is one of the top prospects in the Peach State in the sophomore class. However, since moving from Wesleyan High School to Norcross High School, Aminu was forced to sit out the varsity year because of Georgia High School Association transfer rules.
Despite the move down to the JV level, Georgia Tech made sure he knew they were interested this season. The Jackets stopped by to see him earlier in the year.
Aminu said the "redshirt year" gave him a chance to reevaluate himself as a player.
"It was kind of a good thing (playing JV) because I think I started getting a little big headed when I was over there at Wesleyan," Aminu said. "It put me down to size because I was only a JV player. That kind of kept me humble.
"As long as they were winning it was all cool but in the games they were losing, I wanted to be in there and give them a chance. It gave me a chance to watch and learn instead of playing and learning. Sometimes that helps because you learned a lot."
There are several signs that point Aminu to Georgia Tech. His brother, Alade, is a freshman forward for the Yellow Jackets. Aminu's teammate and close friend Gani Lawal is a 2007 commitment for the ACC school. Aminu says the relationships give the Jackets a "slight" lead over the rest of the pack but he did add a disclaimer.
"I know my dad never wants me to be under my brother's footsteps," Aminu said. "I think that will play a role. It is just open grab for anybody. It doesn't sway me any way where my brother went."
Aminu said he is also hearing from Georgia, Florida State, Florida and Virginia. He will suit up for the Georgia Stars 16U team on the AAU circuit. Aminu's team won the 16U division of the Southern Shootout over the weekend at Georgia State and Metro Fitness.