May 22, 2010

CMU still in mix for Rivals 150 guard Paul Jesperson

Billed as one of the top players in the state of Wisconsin, Merrill High's Paul Jesperson has been on fire in recent tournaments and his recruitment has picked up as a result.

Jesperson recently became a member of the 150 for 2011 as he checks in as the No. 132 player in the nation. He has drawn offers from Arizona State, Northwestern, Minnesota, Central Michigan, Butler, Colorado State, Northern Iowa, and numerous other Mid-Majors, and his stock continues to rise after some impressive play with his AAU team, the Wisconsin Playmakers. As a member of the Wisconsin Playmakers, Jesperson is in a unique situation as he is coached by his brother, Jason Jesperson. We recently caught up with Coach Jesperson to get an update on Paul's recruitment and their relationship on and off the court.

"It's different for sure," said Jason on coaching his brother. "I'm 17 years older than he is, so we kind of have a father/son relationship almost. But, Paul is a great kid and he makes it really easy for me to coach him."

At 6-foot-7, Jesperson is a tremendously versatile player who can shoot, pass and play with his back to the basket.

"He's known for being a shooter," added Coach Jesperson. "He plays point guard for his high school team and he also led them in rebounding last year. He's at his best coming off screens, but he can really do a bit of everything. He can pass and make plays going to the basket, but I'd like to see him improve his game in the post a little."

At this stage in his recruitment, Paul has racked up over 13 offers and schools such as Virginia, Notre Dame and Wisconsin may be close to offering. With so many high level programs either being close to offering, or having already offered, some of the smaller schools are wondering if they're even an option.

"He has offers from a lot of schools, a lot of Mid Majors too," said Coach Jesperson. "It's really getting to the point though with his BCS offers that most of the smaller schools aren't even bothering anymore though."

But, as Coach Jesperson elaborated, Central Michigan is still very much in the mix.

"Yeah, Paul's still considering a few Mid-Majors, and Central Michigan is one of them. Really that's due to their outstanding 2010 recruiting class and Paul is really intrigued by them and the type of talent they've accumulated."

Serving as Paul's main recruiter at CMU is assistant coach Darren Kohne.

"Coach Kohne, he came out and watched us play last July," said Coach Jesperson. "He's been a great guy, and he's been very straight forward with us, he doesn't pull punches. An obviously, he helped contribute to their 2010 class that is very highly thought of, so he can recruit."

With so many schools coming after him right now, Jesperson has been taking visits and trying to stay focused through all the added attention. As Coach Jesperson pointed out, developing a close relationship with a coaching staff is a major priority for Paul in his decision process.

"We just got done with some visits last weekend, and at this point most of the schools offer what he is looking for in terms of academic programs," added Coach Jesperson. "Developing relationships with coaches is something very important he is looking for, and it's been tough recently because coaches can only call once a month. And then he wants to find a style of play that fits him, a team that can utilize his skills and make him the best possible player."

Despite Paul's impressive offer list, Coach Jesperson insists he has no favorites at this point.

"He's still pretty wide open. We've been trying to set up more visits and everything, but he's wide open at this point, there is no clear cut top five or anything like that."

With his skill set and even more impressive production, expect Jesperson's recruitment to pick up even more as programs from across the nation realize what kind of player he is. ChippewaCountry will keep you up to date on his recruitment and to see whether the Chippewas can reel in another big fish to compliment their 2010 class.

Stick to ChippewaCountry for the latest in CMU athletics and recruiting.

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