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Julius Randle on getting healthy, patience and his upcoming trip to N.C. State

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.

Hey, what’s going on everybody!

This is my first blog of 2013, and I’m excited to be getting healthier and healthier. Last time I told you guys about my foot injury, well now I can tell you that I’m out of my walking boot.

I’m walking really well too!

Every day my foot is getting stronger and stronger and, to be honest, I think that I can come back right now and play. Seriously.

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I don’t think that’s the best thing for me in the long run though. I’m planning to take my time with this and only come back when I’m 100 percent.

In about a week I can start doing light drills on the court with no contact, so I’m so excited about that.

This whole time that I’ve been out I’ve just been hitting the weights really hard and getting up hundreds of jump shots every day. I can tell you for sure that my jump shot has gotten so much better in this time off. It was something I’d been focusing on anyway, but it’s even better now.

The biggest thing for me is making sure I’m ready and not just coming back because I’m excited that I’m feeling better. I’m such a competitor that I want to get out there tonight, but I’m gonna be responsible and make sure everything is all good.

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If I’m able to play with my team before the season is over that’s great, but I’m not gonna rush and end up potentially hurting myself even worse.

I’ve had a lot of support from friends and family throughout this whole process and Jabari Parker is one of the guys that has been checking on me throughout my rehab. We had similar injuries and he’s just been giving me advice about waiting until it’s 100 percent to get back out there. I really appreciated that he was checking on me. It was good advice.

I’ve gotta be honest, it’s hard not to get out there and play the game you love, especially when you feel like you can. I even thought about getting out there and playing this weekend at the Bass Pro tournament we’re playing in. But injuries have to have time to heal. I think about how much basketball that I have ahead of me so I’m dedicated to doing the right thing right now.

I still want to be able to play in the McDonald’s All-American game, and I think I’ll be ready by that time, but if I’m not, I’m not gonna force it. My biggest thing is getting healthy, but I think I’ll be 100 percent well before McDonald’s.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned since I’ve been away from basketball is the importance of patience. I definitely feel like I can play right now, but I want to be patient and come back at the right time. That’s something that I’ve really developed since I’ve been hurt. I learned that I was impatient and now I’ve learned to be more patient. That’s something that I am using in every area of my life.

I think it’s something that will really help me next year in college too.

As a freshman I know there will be times when I’ll struggle in some areas, but I think developing this patience will help me so much. It will help me not to get frustrated and to know that things will get better.

OK, so of course you guys want to know about my recruitment, right?

Well, I’m really excited about my trip to N.C. State next weekend. I’m taking my official and I know it’s gonna be off the chain. My boy Rodney Purvis texted me this morning and told me that they really needed me for next year and how good we would be if I come there. I’ve been listening to him. I’m excited to get down there because State has really been doing their thing this season.

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They had the big win over Duke and it shows how much they’re growing as a program. Coach Early from State actually came out to my school today for my workout and we had a really good talk about things. He was basically telling me about how I could come in and play a role similar to the one C.J. Leslie has been playing this year. He said he thinks I’m the missing piece that they need. I like Coach Early and Coach (Mark) Gottfried. They’re real cool and they come at me pretty hard.

I know State plays UNC when I’m there and I already told you guys that I’ve got N.C. State winning that game. That hasn’t changed. They’re playing too good right now.

I’m looking forward to seeing everything that the school has to offer. The first time I visited N.C. State I was in and out. I didn’t get to really experience the campus, but I plan to get a good feel for what life would be like if I came there. I know the coaches and Rod will show me everything and then some.

I can’t wait to get down there.

After that I’ve got my visits to Kansas and Texas in February so I know those will be ridiculous too.

You wouldn’t expect Kansas to be a live place to be, but I’m telling you, the Kansas fans are crazy! I cannot wait to get down there for that visit. I know it’s gonna be crazy.

Then with Texas, that’s home and I’ve been there the most. People forget just a few years ago they were the No. 1 team in the country. They’re just young, but I know that’s a place that I could go and make a run at a national title. Just seeing the impact that (Kevin) Durant had is big for me.

All of the coaches have been real good about checking on me throughout my rehab. That’s one thing I can say is that I’ve got great relationships with all of the coaches that are recruiting me.

Like, I talk to Coach (John) Calipari from time to time and he checks on me and checks on my mom, but I think the main reason we click is because we have similar mindsets. We’re both go-getters. We battle. We compete. I love that about him.

Then Coach (Bill) Self is one of the coolest guys I’ve talked to off the court. I love talking to him.

It’s been really good to build these relationships with all of these coaches. I’ve learned a lot from them.

OK everybody, I definitely appreciate you reading my blog and I want you to check back soon for my next entry. I’ll tell you all about my N.C. State visit.

Thanks again y’all!

Don’t forget to follow Randle on Twitter @J30_Randle.



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