Dean Wade gained substantial notoriety on the recruiting front this summer. The 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward from Saint John picked up more than a dozen scholarship offers and broke into the latest Rivals 150 rankings at No. 107, completing the journey from unheralded recruit to coveted prospect.
But Wade will take his first official visit with the first college that showed interest in him -- Kansas State. He will arrive in Manhattan on Friday morning and stay through Saturday for the Wildcats’ opening football game against Stephen F. Austin.
“My sophomore year was the first time they contacted me,” Wade said by phone. “(assistant) coach (Chris) Lowery came and watched me practice. That was the first time I heard from them, or anyone for that matter. This summer they offered me. I am pretty excited about the visit.”
Head coach Bruce Weber extended the official scholarship offer. Wade says he is considering five schools -- K-State, Wichita State, Creighton, Iowa and Vanderbilt -- and he has another official visit scheduled with the Shockers next weekend. Still, hearing from Weber might have been the highlight of his summer.
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“They had been recruiting me for so long,” Wade said. “I felt like they would never do it, then they did it. I was very happy to say the least.”
Wade has some ties with K-State. He says he visits Manhattan twice a year for football games. His father played receiver for the Wildcats in 1985 before transferring to Western Illinois. Wade also attended K-State’s victory over Kansas in Bramlage Coliseum last season.
“That was amazing,” Wade said. “I picked a good one.”
Wade says he doesn’t have a favorite at this point, but that could change soon. If things go well during his visits to K-State or Wichita State, he could make an oral commitment and bring his recruitment to a halt. If the visits go poorly, the opposite could occur.
“It can happen whenever,” Wade said. “This weekend, next weekend or maybe after the season. I couldn’t tell you.”
Wade hopes to play small forward or stretch power forward in college. He says he handles the ball well and likes to shoot, but he isn’t afraid to post up in the lane against tall defenders.
He has helped Saint John win back-to-back state championships. He doesn’t see much inside competition at the 2A level in Kansas. Most regular season games are won by blowout, and his playing time ends at halftime.
“It’s kind of boring to tell you the truth,” Wade said.
A summer filled with AAU action was more exciting, and Wade played well enough to impress college recruiters. His phone didn’t stop ringing in July.
Now that things have quieted down, he’s closing in on a college choice. The search begins with a visit to K-State.