COP: Jahlil Okafor Q&A

COP: Jahlil Okafor Q&A

FORT MYERS, Fla. --- Jahlil Okafor is the top-ranked center in the junior class and he's playing like it this week at the City of Palms (19.5 points, 12.0 rebounds). After his Friday evening game, he spoke about UNC and where he stands in the recruiting process ...

You appear to be in as good shape as you've ever been right now ...

Definitely, that's something my coaches have been stressing. I've been doing a lot of running in practice and buying into what they've been saying. ... Like you said, I'm in better shape than what I was last year, and it's always about getting better. I feel like I've improved from last year in my conditioning so I'm pretty happy.

When you're at your best, what are you doing well?

Talking to my teammates, running the floor, being dominant on the block, rebounding and defending.

How's the recruiting process going for you right now?

Pretty good - I kind of took a break from it and most of my coaches have been calling my Dad, so I've been pretty much just focusing on this team because I feel we have something special here.

Which schools are coming at you the hardest right now?

There are a bunch of schools, and none in particular - I'd say everybody is coming at me the same way.

With regards to North Carolina, what's their recruitment of you been like?

North Carolina is a school that's recruiting me hard, I talk to them often. I talk to Coach Roy Williams a lot - he's my lead recruiter so I speak to him often. I like North Carolina.

What's Coach Williams told you as far as how he's recruiting you?

"That he wants me to go there - he feels I could be a great big man there. They've done great with big men in the past and he feels like I could be no different."

What about North Carolina stands out to you?

"The rich tradition of it - Michael Jordan, Rasheed Wallace, all those players - it's a great tradition and it'd be great to be in."

How does the decision this week from Jabari Parker, your AAU teammate, factor into your decision?

It won't have any affect on my decision, but having him at Duke, that's a school I'm looking at, so I'll be able to talk to him a little bit so he can tell me what he really thinks of it. It lets me get the inside scoop on Duke.

A lot has been made of your relationship with Tyus Jones and you guys playing together in college. Is that still the case?

Yeah, definitely. Tyus is one of my best friends and he's like a brother to me, so playing with him in college is something I really want to do.

You're ranked No. 1 overall in the 2014 class by some scouting services and the No. 1 center by all of them. How do you view that distinction?

It's always good to be No. 1 but you have to keep working because the main thing that does is put a bigger target on your back. That's something I learned from Jabari - when you're No. 1 it makes people want to play you even more so you have to keep working ... Jabari is like a big brother to me. Everything I experience he's already experienced, so he gives me a heads up on what to expect.

Are there any schools that you know you want to visit at this point? Know you've been to a number of them already...

Not really. I haven't been to Kentucky yet, that's a school I want to see. Michigan State, I went there my freshman year but that was just to play basketball. So there are a few schools I still want to visit.

Jahlil Okafor Profile

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