football

Wall to wall interest for 2009 guard

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By the time you read the first paragraph in this story, John Wall could have easily made it from one baseline to the other. The 6-foot-3 point guard for Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C. might be the fastest player in his position in the class of 2009, and his recruitment is moving a quick clip these days, too.
Wall was one of the biggest surprises nationally regardless of class and an argument could be made that the soon-to-be five-star guard was one of the top three players at the inaugural Rbk U camp in Philadelphia in early July.
Funny thing is, he almost never made it to the all-star camp.
Wall earned the invitation to participate in the Rbk U camp after a stellar performance at the shoe company's underclassmen camp in Chicago. Wall said his AAU coach had to work some angles just to get him into the Windy City camp because he couldn't participate in the Headliner camp, the precursor to the underclassmen and Rbk U camp, because of track practice.
Regardless of his trek to the camp, Wall took full advantage of his moment on the big stage.
"When I first came at the beginning, I was nervous because I have heard about all of the big names. And to be honest with you, I wasn't even supposed to be there," Wall said. "When I got there, I let my jitters get out of the way for my first game and then did what I know I can do. I got to where I wanted to be and my shots were falling. I played the game I wanted to play and everybody just started talking about me."
Wall's name was on the tip of the tongues of nearly every high-major coach that packed into Philadelphia University's gym at the start of the month.
"It's taken off a whole lot. It feels so much better," Wall said of his recruitment. "I was watching other players in my class and they were getting offers and getting known. I knew I was just as good as they are. So now, when I get these letters and get the messages, it feels so much better. It makes you want to work even harder."
Virginia, Virginia Tech and NC State jumped in line first, Wall said, just before he "blew up" at the Rbk U camp. A month later, Wall said Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kentucky, Miami, Indiana and NC State have offered. Ohio State, Florida and North Carolina are also looking at him.
Even with all of the attention, Wall said he's still a little overwhelmed with all of the attention and taking things at a slow pace.
"Nobody has struck me more than anyone else. I'm wide open with my choices right now," Wall said. "My coaches told me to keep it up because you never know what's going to change. You don't want to close the door on something. I don't want to decide until my senior year."
Wall, who won a state championship in the 4x100 relay and long jump in his first go at track last year, said he is focused more on rounding out his game over the next six months.
"A lot of people knew I was a scoring point guard so I think people wanted to know if I could run a team," Wall said. "I think we did good for a young team and I think I did a good job of leading my team. I lead them in assists and then in the fourth quarter, I'd start to really score again.
"My coaches said I can't stop now. I can't change the way I'm playing. I can't change in games. I can't change the way I practice. They say I'm still the same player I was before I was known after this summer. I just have to stay humble and hungry. I want to work harder and get better at everything."
Visits to schools will likely happen over the next couple of months. More offers will certainly come in that span. Recruiting might be the only thing he takes at a slow pace these days, too.
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