VIDEO: Travis Branham: Cooper Flagg has the ability to take over a game
During the summer, gifted five-star big man Jayden Quaintance made the decision to move up to the class of 2024 from 2025. That’s no surprise, really. Reclassification has become common among the best players in the country. However, most of the time it is a situation where they are joining a class they should have already been in when it comes to age.
Not the 6-foot-10 Quaintance.
Having just turned 16 during the month of July, the Ohio native, who plays at Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God, was already on the young side for the junior class. Now as a senior, he’s quite young and will enroll in college as a 16-year-old and play his freshman season at 17.
“I feel confident in my decision,” Quaintance told 247Sports. “I’ve been playing up forever in the summer and in high school it is all classes so you are always playing the best regardless of class. So, I don’t think it changes much it is just going to get me to the college level a little faster.”
Currently ranked No. 12 overall, Quaintance has a lot going in his favor. Despite his youth he’s got a pretty well developed frame, he’s skilled and he certainly doesn’t play like a somebody who is still so young.
“I’ve been playing up against higher level talents since I was 14, so I think I’ve adapted to the higher playing level and continually improving,” said Quaintance. “I feel like I’m quick on my feet and my athleticism helps me compete with other guys on the court that are my height, so that’s always on my side helping me out.
“I keep working my consistency shooting the ball and my ability to handle the ball so I can be versatile all over the floor.”
So far, Quaintance has been able to see Cincinnati, Kentucky, Michigan State, Ohio State and Pittsburgh unofficially.
Cincinnati: “I liked it. I got to talk to the coaches, I got to see practice I got to see a game. I really liked Cincinnati; I think that was my very first unofficial.”
Kentucky: “It was definitely cool. I got to talk to (John Calipari), I got to see a practice. It was cool, I liked it. It was all interesting.”
Michigan State: “I wasn’t there when coach (Tom) Izzo was there. I just did like a practice there kind of and it was more like a tour. Just a quick stop.”
Ohio State: “Again, it was cool. I got to see the team practice, see what the facilities were like. Overall, it was cool.”
Pittsburgh: “Pretty much like the other visits. I got to talk to the coaches, see the practice, tour the campus and see it all.”
Moving forward, Quaintance has his first official visit set up to Ohio State the weekend of Sept. 15 and he’ll hit Cincy (Oct. 13) and Kentucky (Oct. 20) on back-to-back weekends the following month. He’s also got a Sept. 21 trip set to Missouri.
Now that the trips will be official and not just unofficial first looks, Quaintance is going to really look closely to determine which style best fits him and then he’ll work on a timeline for a decision.
Get football and recruiting scoop on your favorite college team for $1 for first month.
“I’m going to look at playing style, that’s going to be one of the main things,” said Quaintance. “I’m going to look at how the team responds to the coaches, the coaching style and how they go about coaching will be a big thing. When I make my decision is still to be determined, I haven’t got like a date or anything.”