Written by 8:49 pm Uncategorized

McDonald’s All-Americans dish on recruiting, school

USA TODAY Sports found that out and more when it held a roundtable discussion last week with three McDonald’s All Americans: North Carolina State signee Tyler Lewis of Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), Memphis signee William “Shaq” Goodwin of Southwest DeKalb (DeKalb, Ga.) and Duke signee Sierra Moore of Delone Catholic (Hanover, Pa.).

Lewis got scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, Charlotte and Auburn the summer before he entered high school, and the attention jumped from there.

“One thing I would change would be to make sure recruiters didn’t call so much,” Lewis says. “It takes away from just being a regular person. It was annoying. I think that’s one reason I committed early, because some people didn’t obey the rules. It was hard to keep things straight with who called and who really wanted me. I let the phone ring because I didn’t want to talk to them.”

Auburn also offered Goodwin early.

“I was in the ninth grade when they contacted me,” Goodwin says. “I was so happy. Then it got nasty. (Recruiting) got fast around the 10th grade.”

Moore was thrilled with her first unofficial recruiting visit as a freshman, to Delaware, but the recruiting trail got rough from there.

“I thought it was amazing going there,” Moore said. “I met Elena Delle Donne there, but then bigger schools started sending letters. It was totally different after that. My iPhone shows who’s calling, so sometimes I just didn’t answer it.”

Recruits use social media to keep up with other elite recruits but also are influenced by it.

“I don’t tweet everyday,” Goodwin says. “I just tweet when something interesting happens. With other players, I like to check out their highlights on YouTube.”

Says Moore: “I tweet a lot. I didn’t do it during the season, because I didn’t have that much time, but I normally tweet a lot. If you don’t have another player’s phone number, you can give them a shout out (on Twitter). When I first decided to go to Duke, I had about 20 followers from Duke saying I should go there.”

Lewis found Twitter was also a virtual mailbox for alumni who wanted to steer the direction of his recruiting.

“I know a lot of N.C. State fans who have helped me out through the process,” he said. “They showed me a lot of love.”

When you are taller and better known than most of your schoolmates, it might be inevitable you are treated differently.

“My principal likes basketball,” Moore said. “At my school, we’re not allowed to cut in line in the lunch room, and I get away with it. But my teachers, half of them never played any sport, so they envy me.”

Goodwin said his experience is in contrast to that of another Atlanta-area McDonald’s All American, Tony Parker of Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.).

“At Tony’s school, he can do whatever he wants to do because people like him,” Goodwin said. “He’s the hero, and I’m the villain. At my school, people are like, ‘You think you’re this and that because you’re good in basketball.’ I don’t know what it is, but school is almost over anyway. Around the school, I have a lot of support. Everybody supports me for the most part, except for the teachers.”

Other college athletes had a big impact on their recruiting. For Lewis, it was N.C. State’s Calvin Leslie. For Moore, it was Duke’s Elizabeth Williams.

“Calvin (Leslie) helped me with the process when I was picking N.C. State,” Lewis says. “When Sidney Lowe got fired, he was one of the persons I went to see if (Mike) Gottfried was the right fit for me. Calvin was one of my role models throughout the year.”

“I was friends with Elizabeth Williams, and she really encouraged me to go to Duke,” Moore says. “I focus on academics a lot and Duke is a great academic school, and now I’m friends with everybody at the school. I think if you know somebody like that, it makes a big difference. It’s harder going somewhere where you don’t know anybody.”

None of the panelists were born when Chris Webber got a technical foul for calling a timeout the team didn’t have in Michigan’s championship game loss to North Carolina in 1993. Their version of history is more recent.

“My earliest NCAA memory is probably when Maryland won the championship with Steve Blake and Juan Dixon in 2001,” Lewis says. “Steve Blake was a big role model because we play essentially the same type of game, and he went to Oak Hill, too.”

Moore’s NCAA memories are more recent.

“I always watched UConn and Maya Moore,” Moore says. “I was a big Tennessee fan when Candace Parker played there. They were amazing, and Pat Summitt is amazing. It’s such a shame that she got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.”

They might be viewed and treated differently than their schoolmates, but the athletes in the roundtable have a typical teen’s diet.

“I don’t care what I put in my body,” says 5-11, 168-pound Lewis. “They tell me to eat whatever, because they want me to get bigger.”

Moore, who is nearly the same size at 5-11, 162 pounds, says her diet includes “like five sodas a day. I feel like it is the post players who usually need to slim down, not the guards.”

Visited 6 times, 1 visit(s) today