Justin Scott-Wesley plans to make public his college choice after the Class AA 200-meter dash finals this Saturday at the state track championships in Jefferson.
This immediately tells us two things about the Mitchell County football star: One, he must be very fast; and two, he must be very confident. After all, making the finals in any state championship is hardly a given.
The answer is yes on both counts.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in what I do,” Scott-Wesley admitted. “I have come to a decision and I feel like everybody should be told. And I just thought, what better time to make your decision known than in the limelight of the state meet?”
The 200 is actually Scott-Wesley’s third event of the day on Saturday. He is also competing in the 100-meter dash and the 4×100-meter relay.
In fact, Scott-Wesley, the defending state champion in the 200 meters, has the fastest time of the Class AA qualifiers (21.68). But he’s got competition. Whether Scott-Wesley’s standing on the top podium at the end of the race will likely come down to Brooks County’s Chris Jones (21.71).
Scott-Wesley also has Class AA’s fastest 100-meter time — and second overall in the state — at 10.52. He’s hoping for a 10.2 on Saturday.
So, yes, he’s fast.
But what podium he makes his announcement from is not the point, Scott-Wesley said.
“They’ve got me projected to win it but, you know, you still have to go out there and run,” he said. “I’m going to try to see if they’ll give me the mic while I’m on the podium. If they can’t do that then I guess I’ll just throw on a hat.”
The general consensus is that Scott-Wesley will pick the Georgia Bulldogs. At least that’s what he was saying a month ago when he first trimmed his list to a top five and topped it with the Dogs. But this close to the big reveal he’s not offering any hints. And his “Fave Five” then is a “Fab Four” now and has changed somewhat. He lists Georgia along with South Carolina, Wake Forest and Stanford.
“The criteria for me is which school is going to give me the best education and get me a degree in a field I want to go into,” said Scott-Wesley, who wants to major in “something in the sciences. “That and the school that gives me the best feeling, the one that’s just the most comfortable for me and I’m closest with the coaching staff.”
At one time Scott-Wesley thought that school was Stanford. He actually committed to the Cardinal last December. But he backed off that decision this past February and re-opened his recruitment.
“I was just looking at it from an academic standpoint,” said Scott-Wesley, an honors student with a 3.6 core GPA. “I knew they were one of the best schools in the country but I wasn’t looking at it from an overall standpoint. I wasn’t thinking about it from the standpoint of living in California.”
Scott-Wesley could have prolonged his decision. He recently reached double figures in scholarship offers and more are surely on their way. But the recruiting process is beginning to wear on him just a bit.
“It’s had its ups and downs,” he said. “It’s fun when you get to go out and go on trips and get to meet new people and see new places. But it can get tiresome when coaches are telling you basically what you want to hear. You know they’re just trying to get you to come to their school. But it’s been mostly fun.”
Scott-Wesley said he actually made his mind up the weekend before last and credits it to divine inspiration.
“I went to church and I had been praying about it and I asked God to send me a sign,” he said. “I woke up the next day and, well, I saw a sign. I talked to my pastor about it and he was telling me that’s the word of God. So I just felt comfortable then.”
Whomever lands Scott-Wesley (5-11, 190) will be getting a versatile athlete that could play almost anywhere. His coach at Mitchell County, Dondrial Pinkins, plans to play him at defensive back, linebacker, wide receiver, tailback and kick returner.
“I would say I’m an offensive utility guy,” Scott-Wesley said. “I can play wide receiver or DB. The schools I’ve been talking to have been looking at me mostly as a receiver and special teams. But I’m mainly an offensive guy. My primary position would be receiver.”
Primarily, he’s fast.
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