I continue my series on the top targets at each position. Today, I will take a look at the small forwards. In case you missed either of the first two articles, I have linked them below.
Jonathan Isaac (5*, 7 overall)- Jonathan Isaac’s recruitment has really picked up a heck of a lot of steam in recent months, much to the dismay of Deacon fans. When Wake offered the SF from IMG Academy last fall, it looked like the Deacs could be serious contenders for the Top 100 prospect who had all the characteristics of a future pro diamond in the rough. Since then, Isaac has risen 31 spots in scout.com’s rankings to #14 overall and up to #7 on 247sports’ rankings, all the while earning offers from Kentucky, Louisville, Texas, Florida, and pretty much any other big time program you can think of. And for good reason too. Isaac is a 6’9 highly athletic SF who has developed his skills and touch at a tremendous rate in the last half year, and he deserves all the attention he is receiving.
The good news? Wake Forest made Isaac’s Top 12 that was released earlier this week on Twitter and has been in contact with him longer than almost every other school listed on there. The bad news? There are 11 other schools, all highly prestigious programs, that will be pitching him just as hard this summer and fall. If being there from the beginning matters in Isaac’s overall decision, the Deacs may have a chance at landing a potential All-ACC SF for four years. If not, I don’t really see Wake getting selected as one of the remaining schools after his next round of cuts.
Talented 2016 Jonathan Isaac down to 12: Auburn, LSU, Texas, FSU, Wisconsin, Michigan, Miami, Cal, Kentucky, Stanford, Wake Forest, Virginia— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) June 3, 2015
Jalen Johnson (3*, 186 overall)- Johnson often is thrown into the conversation late when people mention the Wesleyan Christian Academy kids, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a very solid player himself. If Johnson is playing for another high school team that doesn’t feature Giles, Parker, and Childress all taking the spotlight and the majority of shots, he might be rated far higher in most sites’ rankings. He proved he could be quite the player on his own already in some recent AAU tournaments, with excellent showings at the Capitol City Classic and the Hoop Group Southern Jamfest for Team Wall. Phenom Hoop Report wrote a feature article on his rising stock a few weeks ago and I wouldn’t be surprised if he picks up a couple more Power 5 offers in the upcoming weeks. Some time away from his high-profile high school team might be just what he needed in terms of showcasing his skills and rising in rankings, and athletic 6’6 wings who can shoot are valuable to any team, not just one that is trying to make it back into ACC contention.
6'6 '16 NC Top 80 Jalen Johnson of Wesleyan Christian/John Wall is due for a huge bump in the next ranking update pic.twitter.com/HcYcwgvrIq— Rick Lewis (@Coach_Rick57) June 6, 2015
Richard Washington (3*, UR)- Richard Washington is one of the recruits I am most excited about potentially being a part of this class and let me explain why. Despite not even having a completed profile on 247sports, Washington has an excellent feel for the game and is a 3* recruit on every other major scouting website. He has a smooth stroke from beyond the arc, attacks the rim well, and would slot into the 2 or 3 spot very nicely at the college level. Wake Forest offered Washington back in mid-April and although the two sides seemed to have very little contact before then, it seems like he has become a top priority for the Deacon staff for this class based on a recent interview. When talking about his recruitment process Washington stated that he talks to Coach Woodberry the most and Danny Manning "like twice a week." ACC head coaches are busy men these days, and if they are taking time to talk to a certain player individually twice a week then the kid must be pretty high on their big board. Washington is a very similar player to Jalen Johnson and Eli Wright (Lefty athletic wings who can shoot), so I wouldn’t be surprised if interest in two of the three fades once one of them commits. The only question now is who is going to accept the offer first?