By hiring Rusty LaRue, Wake Forest might have moved to the top of the unusual recruiting chase for Forsyth Country Day School point guard Tyler Lewis.
Lewis might be the top Class of 2012 prospect in North Carolina. On Wednesday, Wake Forest announced that LaRue - one of the greatest three-sport athletes in ACC and Deacons history – was leaving Forsyth Country Day of Lewisville to join coach Dino Gaudio’s staff.
Lewis now has scholarship offers from the Charlotte 49ers, Auburn and Virginia Tech, plus a former high school coach on Wake Forest’s staff.
“I wouldn’t say that this makes it a slam dunk for Tyler to attend Wake if offered, but it does have a big impact,” Rick Lewis, Tyler’s father, wrote in an e-mail. “As I told Rusty many times, we basically selected FCDS because of him.”
Wake Forest hasn’t offered a scholarship yet but has recruited Lewis heavily. And the Deacons’ failure to offer might just be a reflection of Gaudio’s stated reluctance to offer a scholarship to a freshman.
Lewis will start his sophomore season in the fall. He is an unusual prospect because he is just 5-foot-11 and 150 pounds, but possesses exceptional vision, court sense and passing ability. He averaged 12.8 points and 5.3 assists per game last season as a freshman.
The Lewises admire LaRue and Wake Forest, but also are fond of the coaches at Virginia Tech, Auburn and Charlotte.
“Virginia Tech was the first school to offer Tyler and that means a lot,” Rick Lewis wrote. “While many schools questioned his size, etc., Virginia Tech stepped up to the plate and offered as did Auburn and Charlotte.”
LaRue has told the Lewises that Wake Forest still will be recruiting Tyler. That could help the Deacons land him – if they decide to offer a scholarship. If not, Lewis has other attractive options.
“I had and still have tremendous respect and admiration for Coach LaRue,” Rick Lewis wrote. “Wake is an ACC school and is only 45 minutes away, plus the academics are great. While Wake has questioned his size, other schools that have offered don’t think his size is going to be a problem.” - Ken Tysiac