But if the interest he’s gauged from high-major schools as a point guard is any indication, Sam Craft’s decision might not be all that difficult.
Craft, who’s as broad-shouldered as a 5-foot-10, 195-pound frame will allow, said the University of Memphis and Arkansas State have inquired about his football services, albeit as an athlete rather than a quarterback.
For basketball, Craft has an offer from Memphis while Ole Miss, Arkansas, Auburn, Tennessee, and Nebraska are casting a watchful eye on the dual-sport star.
“(Football coaches) aren’t really stuck on me,” Craft told TigerAuthority.com. “By the end of next season, if I’m not getting much more exposure for football, I’ll know what I want to do.”
Last year, Craft helped the Chiefs to a district title for the first time in nine years as the starting quarterback. He followed his stellar football season by leading Craigmont to its first ever basketball state championship as the starting point guard.
“I’m not good at following people,” Craft said. “I want to be a leader. I want people to look up to me, and depend on me, to bring it through. My teams, they depend on me. They put the ball in my hands to make plays, and I make plays for them.”
Craft is currently with his AAU team, the ever-loaded Memphis YOMCA, in North Augusta, S.C., for the Peach Jam. While Craft is a 2013 prospect, he plays up with the 17U squad, which faces BABC in the Peach Jam title game tonight.
“We’ve worked too hard not to win it,” said Craft, whose YOMCA squad has yet to lose a game in the Peach Jam. “We deserve it. We’re just like a brotherhood, we’re a family.”
In the quarterfinals of the Peach Jam, Craft hit a game-winning jumper with 4.4 seconds to send YOMCA to the final four of the tournament. Still, even armed with the rare opportunity to lead three separate teams to championships, Craft said he feels slighted.
“I’ve been under the radar so long, and for me to accomplish what I’ve accomplished and still be under the radar, that makes me want to work even harder,” he said. “That’s how I know people still don’t respect me like I need to be respected.”
Craft said he hasn’t even begun to trim down a list — he still has to cut a sport — but that Memphis stands out to him for a multitude of reasons.
“It is my hometown,” he said. “I grew up watching them. I’ve been a fan since I was in Pampers. My dad played football here back in the ‘80s. I have a lot of connections here in Memphis.”
Craft’s father is also a campus police officer at the U of M.
After tonight’s title game, Craft and YOMCA will return to Memphis for two days before heading off to Orlando, Fla., for the Super Showcase from July 19th until August 1, the two-sport star still mulling over exactly where to go from here.
“I’m just looking for a good school and good education,” Craft said. “I want to come in and play ball. I just want to go to a school that I feel is right for me.”