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Penn State Basketball Recruiting: Jeter Nearing Decision

We are finally coming down the stretch in the Sheldon Jeter sweepstakes. The 2012 forward announced yesterday via twitter that he is going to decide on May 3rd.

It's been a long time coming, but Jeter has narrowed his choices down to four finalists - Penn State, Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt. The first three schools have seemingly been with Jeter from the beginning, but Vanderbilt recently came on strong in April. The Commodores are in major rebuilding mode and can offer immediate playing time in addition to a great education for the aspiring law student. Oh, and they have cake.

He has hosted all four schools' coaching staffs for in-home visits, while he officially visited UW, USC, and Vandy. He has unofficially visited Penn State three times but is going to squeeze in an official visit this Thursday. It's just a day trip with his father, so it won't have the glitz and glamour that comes with a full official visit. However, it gives Penn State new life as they haven't had much of a chance to improve its position with Jeter since Chambers' March in-home visit.

Once Jeter finally decides, it will wrap up yet another strange tale in the world of college recruiting. He has been relatively quiet throughout the whole process (minus some #subtweets here and there) by having his father talk to the media. First it was all about how Pittsburgh was the favorite if they would offer, but that never materialized. It seemed more like his dad wanted Pitt moreso than Sheldon himself. Other schools like Seton Hall and Florida State came and went but were never serious options.

Penn State seemed to put themselves in a great position early as Sheldon took multiple trips to State College. Many thought his friendship with fellow PSU commit and Pittsburgh native Geno Thorpe could be an x-factor. He also took a visit with another PSU verbal Isaiah Washington in early January. But he never committed to Chambers, gave other schools a look, and PSU seemed to fall behind. Then he led his team to the PIAA finals at the end of March, and he once again hinted he could be State College-bound after telling yet another PSU commit Brandon Austin that 'he would see him up here'.

After the state championship, his recruitment went silent for a few weeks before it picked up again with in-home visits and the Vanderbilt trip. What's been hard to ignore is the apparent disconnect between Sheldon and his father. It had been speculated that Carliss Jeter (an assistant coach for Beaver Falls) was not a fan of his son attending to Penn State but then he made what some took as underhanded remarks at PSU in his latest update of his son's recruitment.

"I'm not sure why he's visiting Penn State," Jeter's father said. "I think it's South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin. All three have great coaches and he had a great visit at all three. In fact, he was going to sign with South Carolina when Horn was there. He really liked it."

If anything, Frank Martin going to South Carolina should have helped the Gamecocks' chances considering how bad that program was under Horn. But to publically question why your son wants to visit a college is beyond me, even if it was meant in the context of Sheldon's already visited enough times to see what the school has to offer. Carliss assured me via twitter that his feelings will not affect Sheldon's decision.

We will just have to see how it shakes out over the next week. Good luck to Sheldon with his decision.

*Another quick note thanks to Seth Greenberg's surprising termination yesterday, Texas A&M Corpus-Christi transfer guard Terence Jones is now no longer considering Virginia Tech. His school list was PSU, VT, and UAB so this obviously increases the chances Chambers lands the post-graduate transfer.

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