Rotnei Clarke is a wanted man. The 6-foot-0, 170-pound shooting guard from Verdigris High School in Claremore, Okla., has established himself as one of the most talked about prospects in the 2008 class because of his performance on the court. When Clarke and his teammates opened up the regular season several nights ago, four coaches' were on hand to get a closer look at the talented guard.
"There are a ton of schools interested in Rotnei," said Conley Clarke, Rotnei's father. "He scored 43-points in the first game of the year on Tuesday night. We actually won that game by 25-points. Coaches' from Washington State, West Virginia, Arkansas and Missouri State were on hand to watch Rotnei play.
"Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida State, Marquette, Clemson, Auburn and Nebraska are some of the schools that have been recruiting Rotnei for a long time," he added. "North Carolina, Kentucky, Duke and Michigan State just recently started to call and are going to recruit Rotnei."
According to Clarke, who is an assistant coach at Verdigris, his son has the ability and potential to become a special player for a variety of reasons. There is no question that Clarke is a talented prospect, but it's his work ethic that separates him from others.
To his credit, Clarke is determined to work his way to become the best player possible. He is a gym rat that has a great deal of passion and love for the game of basketball.
"Rotnei is much quicker and stronger than he was last year," he said. "He makes 500 three-pointers a day, makes 100 free-throws and takes 100 runners in the lane. We played in a tournament last year and didn't make it home until late at night. Everybody had gone home and I was washing our uniforms. I found Rotnei in the gym shooting around, so I had to send him home and told him to get some rest.
"Several schools have tried to get him to commit, but he just isn't ready for that yet," he added. "He's received over 500 letters from college basketball programs, and Rotnei has kept all of those letters. We were talking the other night and I asked him give me a list of five schools that he really likes, and he couldn't do that. Rotnei is wide-open right now and isn't ready to make any decisions about his future."
According to his father, Rotnei has unofficially visited Arkansas, Tulsa, Nebraska and Oklahoma.