The prevailing logic goes a little something like this: You sign a really talented player. He plays one year at your school. He goes to the NBA. Other high school talents see that and say, "Hey, I want to be in the NBA too. I should do what that other talented player did!" This effect accentuates when the two players in question play the same position; if a college coach is good at getting, say, point guards drafted in the top five of the NBA draft (sound familiar?) other young point guards are going to assume they'll have similar success. That's just how it works. Sensibly so.
But not, apparently, at Georgia Tech. After one season with the team, Derrick Favors went pro and was drafted No. 3 overall. South Atlanta High's Nick Jacobs, a class of 2011 recruit many in Atlanta call "the next Derrick Favors," took a look at Favors' year and said something entirely different: Nope. Not for me.
Jacobs is friends with and has a lot of respect for Favors, as the two teamed together to lead South Atlanta to the state championship two years ago. However, Jacobs would rather be known for his own basketball abilities rather than “the next Derrick Favors.”
That’s one of the reasons why Jacobs never really explored the option of playing college ball at Georgia Tech, following in the footsteps of Favors. Tech never offered a scholarship. But when the Jackets sent out early feelers to gauge his interest, it was “thanks, but no thanks” from Jacobs.
When asked if his lack of interest in Georgia Tech had to do with escaping the never-ending comparisons to Favors, Jacobs laughed and said, “I think you might have hit the nail on the head.”
Jacobs sounds a lot like a little brother desperate to escape the shadow of his successful older sibling. I just want to be me! I just want to find myself! Stop comparing me to him, you guys! I CAN DO STUFF TOO! I'M MY OWN PERSON! (/Runs into room, shuts door, starts blaring "How Soon Is Now?") Hey, we've all been there.
From Georgia Tech's perspective, though ... ouch. That's not exactly how this process is supposed to go. Talent is supposed to lead to more talent; NBA dreams fulfilled are supposed to lead to more NBA dreams. In this case, a talented power forward is ignoring the school because they had a very talented power forward because that power forward was too successful. Talk about your all-time backfires.