COLUMBUS, Ohio (BVM) – Jayden McClain is a 6-foot-5 seventh-grade girls basketball player who already holds multiple Division-I college basketball offers.
The middle schooler’s first verbal D-I offer was secured in early October from the Cincinnati Bearcats. By late October, she received an offer from Mississippi State head women’s basketball coach Sam Purcell. The head women’s coach at Ohio State followed with an offer in November. Now McClain is closing out 2023 with recent offers from the Pitt Panthers and also from Kentucky Wildcats head coach Kyra Elzy.
Here are the rules for recruiting that are specific to young basketball players, according to NCSA College Recruiting:
“If the coach is truly interested in that recruit, they can extend a verbal scholarship offer. A verbal offer is a non-legally binding scholarship offer, and college coaches can extend verbal offers to a recruit of any age. It’s essentially a way for the coach to say, ‘I’m reserving a spot on my team for you.’ However, because verbal offers aren’t legally binding, coaches – and athletes – can back out of them at any point.
McClain is attracting national attention at a young age because she plays up with the varsity team at Ryle High School in Kentucky. She’s averaging 1.5 points and 4.2 rebounds for the Raiders who are 8-3 so far this season.
“Elite shooting for a D-I post at all three levels,” wrote Thomas More University’s assistant coach Kevin Clancy about McClain’s talents. “Legitimate three-level scorer. Elite shot blocker. Excellent height and elite length for a D-I post. Anticipates extremely well. Excellent offensive rebounder and finisher at the rim. Excellent screener. Runs the floor well in transition on both ends.”
— Samantha A McClain (@SMcClain24) October 21, 2023
“Blocking shots come to me most (naturally) because of my height,” McClain told SaidByWoods. “I like defense more than offense.”
Overall, McClain is expected to be a top storyline by the time her senior season rolls around in 2029. She is currently ranked by Elite48 Worldwide as the No. 2 player in the nation for her class behind Anyla “AP” Parker, who holds one D-I offer from Texas A&M.