Recruiting Central: Plymouth Whitemarsh's Bond opts for prep school over Pitt

Jaylen Bond wants to develop his perimeter skills.
Jaylen Bond wants to develop his perimeter skills. (RON CORTES / Staff Photographer)
Posted: July 13, 2011

Jaylen Bond is freakishly athletic. He's a highlight reel on the basketball court.

The University of Pittsburgh believed he could compete in the Big East Conference as an undersized power forward. The problem is that the 6-foot-7, 219-pound recent graduate of Plymouth Whitemarsh High does not want to play in the post.

That's why the 18-year-old backed out of a scholarship with the Panthers so he can spend the next year at St. Thomas More School in Connecticut. After prep school, he will head to college.

"I want to work on my perimeter skills," said Bond, who was named a first-team all-Southeastern Pennsylvania post player last season by The Inquirer.

"I need to work on that and my ballhandling because I'm playing the three [small forward] at St. Thomas More," Bond added. "They said they are going to put the ball in my hands."

Recruiters stayed away from Bond until Pittsburgh recently released him from his scholarship after he enrolled at St. Thomas More.

So far, Bond has scholarship offers from Temple and Penn State. St. Joseph's, Maryland and Tennessee are also interested.

He would like to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but Bond hasn't ruled out playing for a non-power conference team with national recognition.

"Basically, I'm looking for a conference that has good competition," said Bond, who added that he hopes to receive playing time as a freshman. "Basically, I'm trying to weigh my options and see what's best for me."

Bond should receive more recruiting attention based on his performance at the Live The Dream international tournament earlier this week in London. He averaged 21.5 points and 13.3 rebounds while playing for the Skoolz USA Select junior team.

Blast from the past

Life has been good for Justin Ferguson since he transferred from Cheltenham High to Flanagan High in Pembroke Pines, Fla.

Looking to boost his football profile, he enrolled at the Broward County school after the 2008-09 school year. Back then, he was an unheralded wideout. Nowadays, the 6-2, 210-pounder, who will be a senior this fall, is regarded as one of the nation's premier college prospects.

Ferguson, who has orally committed to Notre Dame, is the 11th-ranked receiver and 76th overall prospect in the Class of 2012, according to ESPNU.

He had 44 receptions for 953 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.

Ferguson's skills were on display last week at the Opening at Nike World Headquarters tournament in Beaverton, Ore. He hauled in two touchdown passes to lead Alpha Talon to a 12-7 victory over Vapor Carbon in the seven-on-seven tournament's championship game.

The four-star prospect considered scholarship offers from Wisconsin, Florida, Florida State and Miami before choosing Notre Dame.


Camden Catholic defensive tackle Marcus Coleman made an oral commitment to play football at Syracuse. The 6-3, 300-pounder, who will be a senior in the fall, will make a formal announcement in a news conference Wednesday evening at his high school.

Coleman chose the Orange over a scholarship offers from Duke, Villanova and Delaware. He also received interest from Iowa, Rutgers and Boston College.

He saw action only on the offensive line last season because of a nagging ankle injury.

Ferranto picks Tar Heels

Burlington Township lineman John Ferranto accepted a scholarship to North Carolina.

The 6-6, 270-pounder, who will be a senior in the fall, chose the Tar Heels over offers from Temple, Connecticut and Tulane. Ferranto is being recruited to play the offensive line.

The lineman is the second South Jersey player to commit to North Carolina in the Class of 2012. Holy Spirit linebacker Dan Mastromatteo accepted the Tar Heels' scholarship offer in May.

Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939,, or @pompeysgridlock on Twitter. Read his blog "Owls Inq" at

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