Julius Randle is the top-ranked prospect in the Rivals150 for 2013 and recently cut his list down to six – Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Florida and Oklahoma. Randle, a forward at Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), has agreed to give USA TODAY High School Sports exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a monthly blog.
What’s up everyone? It’s me again back with another blog.
The biggest thing that’s happened since my last blog was obviously me cutting my list down to six. I’m officially looking at Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Florida and Oklahoma. I had a couple of fans hit me on Twitter being negative, but for the most part all of the fans of the schools I didn’t pick were good sports. They wished me well and I appreciated that.
I haven’t spoken to any of the coaches that didn’t make the list since I told them what I was gonna do, but a few have called my coach to see what happened.
A lot of people were shocked by my list because Duke and North Carolina weren’t on it. The only thing that I can say is, I had to make the best decision for me. A lot of people would leave them on their list for show or something like that, but I didn’t think those were the best fit for me. Those are two great schools and I really have a lot of respect for the coaches. That’s why I didn’t want to string them along if I knew that I wasn’t gonna go there.
You guys have no idea how hard this whole process is, but stuff like deciding on the list is hard. Like I said, I just have to do what I think is in my best interest and be upfront, and that’s what I’ve done so far.
I took a visit to Florida the weekend of Oct. 5, and I had a great time.
Things started slow because when I got there on Friday there was a big accident that made traffic just stand still. It’s already an hour and a half from the airport to the school so that was a long trip. The coaches kept saying they hated that it was starting out like that, but it wasn’t that bad once we got there.
Me and my mom had dinner with the coaches and some of the players, and that was real cool because I knew all of those guys from the USA U18 team this past summer. It was like eating with family.
But I was so tired after eating that I just went to the room and crashed.
The next day we woke up and met with the academic advisor, then I went and watched the individual workouts and got some shots up myself.
After that I went with my mom and talked to coach (Billy) Donovan, and he showed me film of some of the players he’s had in the past and showed me how he would use me. He said he’s never had a player like me so he didn’t want to compare anyone to me. I know he would let me play my game and give me freedom offensively. That’s what he did this summer with Team USA, so I’m really comfortable with Coach D.
I’m telling y’all now, Florida is gonna be pretty good. Erik Murphy can really shoot and Patric Young is just a beast. That guy is so big and strong.
Later that afternoon we went to the Florida-LSU game, and that was just crazy.
Coach (Will) Muschamp was in the back talking to me like five minutes before the kickoff and I just kept thinking, “Don’t you have to get ready for the game?”
I got to be in the locker room and see the guys getting hype before the game and what I took from that was to play football your mindset has to be totally different. I love football, but I’d never play.
Coach Muschamp kept joking with me telling me to get out there and get a jersey on and line up at wide receiver or tight end. It was so live there. The Gators fans are crazy!
After the game we went to Coach D’s house and hung out. Me and him are big into shark diving. He’s been before when he went to South Africa. I mean he actually got inside a cage while sharks swam around. That’s crazy, right? I have never done it, but I told him I was gonna go with him one day. I’m pretty sure I’d go through with it. As long as they can’t get through the cage I’m in there.
Coach D was showing me all of his shark videos and stuff. It was real cool.
I had a great weekend.
My next visit will be an unofficial to Oklahoma for the Notre Dame game on Oct. 27. I’m pretty excited about that. Right now that’s all I have set up.
Oh, the other thing I want to clear up is the crazy rumor about there being some sort of beef between Andrew and Aaron Harrison and me. That is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard, honestly. I’ve tried to ignore it but everyone is making it a big thing. I can tell you, 100 percent, that all three of us are cool. I’ve got the utmost respect for those guys and their games and we’re actually cool with each other. Every time I see them, we talk and hang out so I don’t know where that came from.
I love that they’re at Kentucky, too.
Potentially playing with two great guards would make it easier for me. I think that we would have a legit shot to win a national championship in our first year because I don’t see any guards in the country that would be better than them.
OK well, the best news I’ve got is that we’ve officially started our season. We had our first practice on Monday and we went hard. So hard that I left practice with a big cut over my eye. It was just something that happened during the course of the practice, but it’s a pretty big cut. I got it bandaged up and went right back out there and got back at it.
I’m excited about the season, I think we’re gonna really be a strong team and have the chance to do some big things.
We had homecoming last weekend and, of course, I was looking GQ smooth for the homecoming dance! It was just a really fun weekend. I was with my best friend and teammate Marquan Botley all weekend and we actually won a best friend game show that they had set up. It was funny.
School is going great too.
They’re loading us down with tests because it’s the end of the quarter, but I’m ready to get my report card since I’ve got all A’s and B’s. My mom makes sure I’m on top of my studies.
OK guys, as always, I appreciate you reading my blog, and I hope you come back and read my next one soon.
Talk to you then.
Don’t forget to follow Randle on Twitter: @J30_Randle