The recruiting process was much easier for Evan Cole the second time around – and perhaps more rewarding.
The South Forsyth senior 6-foot-8 forward committed to Georgia Tech on Tuesday about a month after being released from his letter of intent with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Cole had originally committed to UNCW last August after bursting on to the scene with a productive summer on the AAU circuit. That was experience was overwhelming. He received almost 30 scholarship offers in a month.
“Everything happened so quickly,” Cole said. “… I was just like, Wow. I never dreamed of it. I never knew I would become a college recruit like I was. Then it took me awhile to narrow it down.”
When UNCW head coach Kevin Keatts resigned to take the same position at NC State, Cole asked for and was granted his release, and the flood of calls from college coaches came again. But this time, he was prepared.
“I knew exactly what I was looking for,” Cole said. “I kept my list trimmed from when I did receive my release, I kind of told schools I didn’t think I’d be interested in to kind of go our separate ways. I just kind of kept it under control.”
Cole quickly narrowed his choices to Clemson, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, NC State and Vanderbilt. He took an official visit to NC State to see the former UNCW coaching staff. But after two visits to Georgia Tech, Cole was convinced.
“Just hanging out with the players, getting to know the coaches – I just thought it’d be a good fit for me,” Cole said.
Cole will join a Yellow Jackets team coming off an encouraging first season with head coach Josh Pastner that included several regular season victories against ranked opponents and a run to the NIT championship game.
Cole watched a bit of Pastner’s work this past season whenever he might be channel surfing.
Now, he’ll be a part of it next season.
“It’s always been a dream to play ACC basketball,” Cole said. “I think it’s going to be a fun ride.”