Arledge increases his recruiting stock with breakout junior season

One year ago, Jonathan Arledge of KIMA School (Washington D.C.) was being recruited by only one college for basketball, but after a junior season in which he earned All-Met honors, colleges are now taking notice and calling more than ever.

Before his junior season, Arledge was being recruited by only George Mason, but after a junior season in which the 6-foot-9, 225-pound Arledge averaged 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots and earned honorable mention All-Met, that list has grown.

"The recruitment of Jonathan has just blown up," KIMA head coach Levet Brown said. "He has interest from Stanford, Boston College, VCU, Rice, George Mason, Vermont, Oregon State. … There are just more colleges coming in all the time."

Arledge has only been playing organized basketball for four years, so the athletic big man still has a lot of upside, according to Brown.

"When Jonathan first came here three years ago, he could barely dunk," Brown said. "He has really improved his skills and his athletic ability. Frankly, I was disappointed he only made honorable mention [All-Met] last year, to me, that was laughable because he is a lot better than some of the players they rated over him on the All-Met."

What position Arledge plays in college will play a major role in which school he chooses.

"I want to play forward in college. I think I have the skills to play there, instead of center, even though I'm 6-9," Arledge told ESPNRISE.com. "I'm working on my dribbling, shooting and my perimeter defense. I think I have a good basketball IQ, but I've only been playing basketball for a few years, so I'm still learning parts of the game. But I feel like I have improved a lot the last couple of years."

Arledge said that he will soon be taking an unofficial recruiting visit to George Mason, but is keeping his options open when it comes to his future.

"I was a big University of Maryland fan growing up, that was my school, but I don't see me going to there now," Arledge said. "I have interest from a lot of good schools like NC State, Vanderbilt, Tulane and Stanford, so I'm going to take my time and look at a lot of schools.

"Academics, the college's graduation rate for basketball players, those are two things I'm looking at," Arledge added. 'I'm also looking at the team's style of play, the coach, does the coach care about his players, stuff like that too."

Arledge may not yet a household name on the Maryland/DC prep hoops scene, but he could turn out to be one of the area's best and most heavily recruited players in the Class of 2010.

James Quinn covers high school basketball for MDVarsity.com