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September 4, 2012
It may seem like 2015 is a long way away, but in the basketball recruiting process, it's really just around the corner.
Inside The Gators has begun compiling a list of names of players, currently high school sophomores, who have the potential to get a serious look from Florida.
One such player received an offer from the Gators Sunday. Karl Towns Jr., a 7-foot, 240-pound center from Metuchen, N.J., who is considered by many to be the top high school player in the 2015 class.
Towns' father, Karl senior, put the recruiting process in perspective. And then during the conversation, an excited Karl junior joined in the conversation.
"My son is a great inspiration to me and my wife," said Mr. Towns. "He's a great student, very humble. Florida is his dream school. He's a big fan of Joakim Noah, Al Horford, and Tim Tebow. Today's offer was a great moment for him. It was like he achieved an offer from a school that he loved."
The elder Towns talked a bit about his son's development as a player.
"He's made great progress," said Mr. Towns. "The experience with the Olympic team with all the pros and getting great coaching and playing with Al Horford helped his progression. He's playing at such a great level. He's practicing 2 1/2 hours a day, six days a week. And he only takes Sunday off because he likes golf. He uses that as a tool to work on his mindset and concentration. It helps with his decision making. So many decisions have to be made before each golf shot and that translates onto the basketball court."
The subject then turned to recruiting, where of course and Mr. Towns said things are heating up.
"It's going very well; a lot of people got a chance to see he's a talented athlete from the USA vs Dominican Republic game," said Towns senior. "We're new at all this but it's going at a decent pace. His High School Coach said he's getting calls from schools constantly. We recently visited three schools (UNC, Duke and NC State)."
He then went on to mention the priorities to the Towns family when it comes time to selecting a college.
"I'm a teacher and my wife works at a university," he said. "So for my wife and I it will be academics. Pre-med will be a factor because Karl wants to be a doctor and God willing play at the highest level.
He closed out the conversation by talking about Florida in particular.
"They've reached out many times to talk to us," said Mr. Towns. "Coach Donovan and Coach Burno have been in touch many times. We're in a growing process, and for years we've done our homework on Florida. In the next 2-3 years we hope his relationship with Florida continues to grow."
At this point in the conversation Karl, Jr. got on the phone to add his thoughts about UF.
"The Florida offer means a childhood dream came true," Karl junior said. "I have always been a fan. It [the offer] shows that all the work I've put in has really worked out. It was really an honor for them to offer me. I plan to come down on October 6th when they play LSU."
Per reports, in addition to Florida, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Michigan State, Syracuse, Baylor, NC State and Duke have offered Towns. While UConn, St. John's, Syracuse, Kentucky, Kansas, UNC, Indiana, Michigan and Villanova, are some of the schools that are showing interest.
Only a sophomore at St. Joseph's in Metuchen (N.J.), Towns is a very skilled elite level big man in the 2015 class. Inside The Gators will keep you updated as his recruitment evolves. Updated: According to the Towns family, Kentucky offered on Monday.