It’s a very talented group and they’re worth all the attention they’re each getting. They’ve each worked very hard to get to where they are. – Utah Prospects coach Tim Davis
With AAU play wrapping up and college recruiting heating up, the state of Utah's in-state prep product has rarely looked better. At least five of the state's best dot top-100 national lists from recruiting services such as scout.com and ESPN.
Those players are Lone Peak's Frank Jackson, who appears as the nation's No. 10 prospect on scout.com and No. 20 on ESPN; American Fork's Brendan Bailey (No. 37 Scout, No. 75 ESPN); Bingham's Yoeli Childs (No. 55 ESPN); Timpview's Gavin Baxter (No. 53 Scout); and Wasatch Academy's Koby McEwen (No. 71 ESPN.)
A person who has played a key role in developing three of them is Utah Prospects coach Tim Davis, whose varsity AAU team includes Jackson, Childs and Baxter.
"It's been a privilege to coach them and I'm just lucky to have had the opportunity," Davis said. "It's a very talented group and they're worth all the attention they're each getting. They've each worked very hard to get to where they are."
For Jackson, his recruiting has blown up since committing to BYU shortly after his freshman season. The Lone Peak senior-to-be has since de-committed from the Cougars and has opened up his recruiting. He currently claims offers from such powerhouse programs as Duke, Arizona, UCLA and Stanford, among others.
Davis has long assumed Jackson would receive the type of attention he's receiving.
"You could tell immediately that he had the potential to be something special," Davis said. "Even before his sophomore year, I thought he was a top-10 guy nationally right then, but he's only gotten better since and he's been noticed by just about everyone."
Jackson recently made unofficial trips to Duke and North Carolina and his first official trip to Stanford.
As gifted as the 6-foot-3 Jackson is athletically, he may not even be the most gifted athlete on his own AAU team. That designation could very well go to Baxter, who committed to sign with BYU.
"Baxter may be a better all-around athlete than even Frank Jackson," Davis said of the 6-foot-7 forward. "He's someone who has really progressed over the last few years and his potential, with his wingspan, I believe he's going to be a special player for BYU and do great things."
As for Childs, his recruitment is starting to heat up, and for good reason. The 6-foot-7 forward has seen his stock rise while proving to be a top low-post player, despite being seemingly undersized for his style of play.
"I believe Yoeli is the best defensive rebounder there is," Davis assessed. "He's so good on the low-post and he's starting to receive a lot of interest."
Childs recently received an offer from BYU, joining Arizona State, Boise State and Utah State, among others, who want his services.
Another player on Davis' team worth noting is 6-foot-6 guard Connor Harding, from Pocatello, Idaho, who has his sights set squarely on Stanford and BYU.
"He's turned down a lot of visits and other offers and really seems to have just those two schools in mind right now," Davis said of Harding, who's listed as ESPN's No. 99 prospect nationally. "He's sort of like a skinnier version of Kyle Collinsworth right now with a better outside shot."
As one could well imagine, Davis' team has seen a lot of success this summer and is 13-2 playing within the competitive Adidas circuit. The team recently qualified for the High Gauntlet Series to be played in Atlanta starting on July 8 and will wrap up AAU play in Las Vegas in late July.
"Like I said, I've been fortunate to be able to coach so many great players that are real team players," Davis said. "That's one of the best things about them, that they're about the team and for one another. I believe they'll all go on to do great things at the next level."