Recruiting Central: Texas wild card: PW's Bond to be a Longhorn

Plymouth Whitemarsh's Jaylen Bond averaged 19 points and 11.2 rebounds his senior year. Now, he's bound for Texas.
Plymouth Whitemarsh's Jaylen Bond averaged 19 points and 11.2 rebounds his senior year. Now, he's bound for Texas. (LAURENCE KESTERSON / Staff Photographer)
Posted: August 03, 2011

This is all Jaylen Bond wanted.

However, going to a powerhouse that promises immediate playing time as a swingman took longer than expected.

The recent Plymouth Whitemarsh graduate orally committed to the University of Texas Tuesday on his official visit to the Austin campus.

That came five months after the 6-foot-7, 219-pounder backed out of his scholarship to Pittsburgh and flirted with playing next season at St. Thomas More, a prep school in Connecticut.

But the 18-year-old ultimately decided there was no need to spend a season at prep school.

The Longhorns must replace all five starters from last season's squad. As a result, Texas has only eight scholarship players for this season's roster.

"And I will be able to play the three," said Bond, who was being recruited to play power forward at Pittsburgh. "I have everything right there at Texas."

The Panthers must release Bond from his scholarship before he's eligible to play this season. If not, he will be forced to redshirt.

Freakishly athletic, The Inquirer's first-team all-Southeastern Pennsylvania selection is a highlight reel in action.

He averaged 19 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 2.0 assists last season. His 1,608 career points rank second on Plymouth Whitemarsh's all-time list behind 2005 graduate Thomas Young's 1,641.

"I'm looking forward to going to Texas," Bond said. "Plus, they play my style of play. They like to run and get it out. It is going to be a good fit me for."

Bond, who had his mother, Kesha and his grandfather, William, with him on his visit, also fell in love with the Texas campus.

He said he had scholarship offers from Temple, St. Joseph's, Tennessee and Penn State for the Class of 2012, assuming he spent a season at prep school.

Guard collecting offers. Maurice Watson Jr. embodies the term blowin' up.

That's because the Boys' Latin Charter School senior is blowin' up on the recruiting scene.

Undersize at 5-10 and 158 pounds, the point guard had one scholarship offer heading into July, from Rice University. And even that was questionable, considering Watson hadn't heard from the Owls in months.

But showcasing his skills for Team Philly's AAU squad, the 18-year-old picked up 17 offers in the last month.

On Tuesday, Virginia became the latest program to offer him a scholarship. Watson's other offer from a power conference is from Texas Tech.

"I know this the highest level of competition," Watson said of his power conference scholarship offers. "That opportunity would probably be great. . . . But I don't get caught up in the big leagues."

Instead, Watson is looking to stand out.

For that reason, he also is strongly considering his offers from mid-major programs at Boston University, La Salle, Quinnipiac, Niagara, and Hofstra.

Watson took unofficial visits to La Salle on Monday and Hofstra on Tuesday. He's scheduled to take unofficial visits to Boston University on Thursday, to Northeastern on Friday, and to Niagara on Aug. 20.

Watson was impressed with his visit to La Salle.

"I like the way the coach [John Giannini] didn't sugar-coat anything," he said. "The honesty was there. They didn't have the best facility. He mentioned that.

"But it's not about the place sometimes. It's about the people around it."

Watson will trim his list to five schools in a couple of weeks before picking a school in September.

Drexel recruit. Drexel has offered a scholarship to Brandon Taylor, a 6-8, power forward/center at Trenton Catholic. The senior also has offers from Minnesota, Miami, Rice, and George Mason.

'Cats are calling. Constitution senior Daiquan Walker got a call Monday from Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua. He informed the senior point guard that the Wildcats were recruiting him.

Walker has scholarship offers from Temple, Marshall, and Central Florida.  

Bound for prep school. Xavier Harris, a recent Constitution graduate, will attend a prep school next year instead of going to Penn as originally planned.

The 6-5 forward hopes to bring up his SAT score and enroll at Penn in the fall of 2012. He decided to take the prep school route over accepting scholarship offers from Boston University, Vermont, Robert Morris, and Monmouth. Harris is leaning toward spending his prep year at the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J.

Checking out the Tigers. Bishop Eustace senior point guard Carson Puriefoy III will take an unofficial visit to Princeton on Wednesday. He has scholarship offers from Quinnipiac, Lafayette, Stony Brook, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939, kpompey@phillynews.com, or @pompeysgridlock on Twitter.

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