Though he hasn't conceded to agreeing with them, Rodney Purvis had been getting the John Wall comparisons for a long, long time. While years separated them, 6-foot-4 blue-chip guards that come out of Raleigh have a way of getting remembered.
But Purvis, ESPNU's No. 16-ranked player in the 2012 recruiting class, has chosen his own path by giving a verbal commitment to hometown school North Carolina State and new coach Mark Gottfried last week.
"I think Rodney being a Raleigh kid and wearing the Red is a tremendous statement for NCSU athletics," [former NC State star Julius] Hodge said. "The magnitude of it, you ask? Imagine if John Wall would have committed to NC State over Kentucky, UNC and Duke?"
Yes, imagine that. In fact, even after Wall was done with his fabulous freshman season at Kentucky that resulted in him being drafted with the first overall pick, one Raleigh web site was obsessive enough to publish an April Fools' Day hoax of a story about him transferring to NC State.
So Wolfpack fans are right to fawn over Purvis, who brings a real ability to get to the rim and a sense of credibility to a new regime that has now locked up the hometown star.
According to ESPNHS, some of those closest to Purvis didn't mind him following in Wall's footsteps as a player despite the inherent pressure that comes with that.
"John is where Rodney wants to be," says Purvis' stepfather, Tony Edwards. "So I tell him to embrace the comparison. Why not? John's a great player and if there's a blueprint on how to work to get there, definitely follow it."
But as it turned out, when it came down to picking a school, Purvis stayed home and even got advice from Wall himself about the decision-making process, according to The News & Observer.
Another player with whom Purvis has kept in contact was former Raleigh Word of God standout and current Washington Wizards point guard John Wall. Purvis tries to shake off people's attempts to compare him to Wall, saying he's honored but he isn't at that level yet.
But during his decision process, Wall, who attended Friday's announcement, was always just a text message away.
"I told him to make his own decision," said Wall, who played at Kentucky for one season. "He had the schools he wanted to and thought that was the best opportunity for him to stay at home, and there's nothing wrong with that. He's going to have a lot of fan and family support, and that's the main thing."