The high school season has always been Travis Leslie's favorite time of the year. It should be. He seems to be at his best and the Rivals150 prospect is hoping that is when the high-major offers start to roll in, too.
The wing from Columbia High School in Atlanta is one of the top athletes in the nation and he knows his skills will be tested come winter time.
"It is going to be big year, but it is going to be a hard year, too," Leslie said. "Coach told me that it is going to be on me a lot and he needs me to step up some more this year. He wants (me and fellow Division I prospect Darius Morrow) to take over. It will be hard but I'm ready to fight through it."
There is no question about that. His team lost three Division I players in Georgia freshman Jeremy Price, Georgia Tech freshman Lance Storrs and prep school bound forward Dante Harvey, who originally signed with Toledo. Leslie played a large role in Columbia's 2005 state title run as a reserve and was the team's leading rebounder last year as a junior. Leslie says he is ready for the challenges that await him.
"My confidence, my ball-handling, my jump shot, I'm getting more confident with all of that. I'm starting to shoot it more and work on that. I think I'm prepared for my senior season," Leslie said. "I know I have a little more to work on though, too."
He is working in the classroom, too. Leslie said he will talk the SAT for the first time on Sept. 13. Because he has yet to take the test, Leslie said he has yet to set up any visits. In fact, he isn't even sure who is really interested at the moment.
"To tell you the truth, my number got changed so I kind of lost touch with a lot of schools," Leslie said. "They may have been calling but I wouldn't know it. I don't know if they know how to reach me or not."
North Carolina, Penn State, UNLV, Georgia Southern, Florida State, East Carolina, Clemson, Cincinnati, Oklahoma and Toledo were those mentioned as schools he has heard from since the end of the summer.
"But who had been hitting me up the most is North Carolina and Penn State," Leslie said. "That is what my (high school) coach tells me."
The Tar Heels, according to Leslie and his high school coach, are visiting Sept. 10 for an in-home visit.
"That's big," Leslie said. "I mean, that's real big. I'm real excited about that."
Part of the excitement of a new year is seeing if North Carolina, and the rest of the programs on his list, turn the interest into offers. Leslie said he will wait until after his senior year to sign.
"Most of my offers are all mid-majors. The big-time schools are waiting and looking at me. No one at that level has really offered me yet. I'm waiting until the spring to do anything," Leslie said. "More schools can come in and I can choose from a lot more.
"I know I have to play every game like it is my last."