Less than a week after top five recruit Julius Randle trimmed his list to six, top recruit Jabari Parker has cut his list to five schools: BYU, Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford. Per Dave Telep:
Simeon coach Robert Smith said Jabari Parker is at five with no order: Duke, Michigan State, Florida, Stanford and BYU— Dave Telep (@DaveTelep) October 5, 2012
This removes Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina (Illinois was also rumored to be in the mix, but never quite made the cut with new head coach John Groce).
For Duke and Michigan State, this is great news. Both schools have long been considered the two frontrunners in Parker's recruitment, and this solidifies that opinion. The removal of Kentucky may seem surprising, but John Calipari and the Wildcats never seemed to go after Parker as aggressively as he did the newly-committed Harrison twins.
The removal of Kansas indicates that Bill Self has some work left to do in the 2013 class, though this may put the Jayhawks in better shape for Julius Randle.
BYU and Stanford are schools that offer a different pitch for Parker. They don't have the recent success or coaching prestige like Duke, Florida and Michigan State, but if they've made it this far they at least have a shot.
Religion keeps Parker attached to BYU. Billy Donovan and Mike Krzyzewski keep Florida and Duke in the mix, respectively, while location and Coach Izzo are huge draws for Michigan State. Each school has a great pitch, evident in their inclusion on the list of one of the best prep athletes in the country.
Kudos to Parker and his family for keeping his recruitment quiet. He's one of the best players in the 2013 class, yet had a relatively uneventful summer due to injury.
Next up for Parker is official visits to these five schools. Rumors of a decision in November make Parker a huge name to keep track of moving forward.
In an interview with the Associated Press (via ESPN.com), Parker said, "I want to make my decision in November if that's possible. I just need to cut it down so I'll be able to go on visits and make my decision from there."
It looks like he's right on track.