Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Prestonwood's Zach Peters commits to Kansas as sophomore
PLANO - Before Zach Peters spoke into the microphone Wednesday afternoon, family members and faculty were introduced in the Prestonwood Christian Academy field house. But although that delayed the big news, the basketball star's announcement that he will play for Kansas was still very early.
At least in terms of how much time Peters, a 6-9, 235-pound forward, still has to decide where he wants to attend college. The sophomore has two more full seasons at Prestonwood Christian, but he decided the time was right to orally commit to Kansas.
"It takes a lot of weight off my shoulders," Peters said after the short ceremony. "I know that I wanted to go there, so why wait?"
Kansas is certainly happy that Peters, who averaged 15.3 points and nine rebounds last season to help Prestonwood win a TAPPS 5A state title, decided not to wait. Peters, who has been 6-9 since the eighth grade, is one of the nation's top recruits. He also had offers from North Carolina, Texas and Kentucky, according to Rivals.com.
For some players, this might be early. But Peters was a college basketball prospect before he was in high school, and he made his first trip to the Kansas campus in the summer before he began eighth grade. He turned 17 just last month, but the recruiting process has been long.
"I've been going through this for about three years now," Peters said. "I've been from the East Coast to the West Coast, and I know Kansas is for me."
Those were unofficial recruiting trips, of course. Basketball players aren't allowed to take official campus visits until Jan. 1 of their junior year. Peters will skip those because he was ready to decide.
More players are thinking that way, because nonbinding oral commitments are happening earlier and earlier.
A few eighth-graders have even made oral commitments.
That's right, eighth-graders. Not surprisingly, many of them don't end up at the college to which they commit. Sometimes they have a change of heart, and other times there is a coaching change.
K.C. Ross-Miller, the star guard from the Dallas-based prep school God's Academy, committed to Kentucky before the start of his sophomore year. Two years later, Kentucky fired coach Billy Gillispie and hired John Calipari, who Ross-Miller had never met. Ross-Miller reopened his recruitment and has now signed with LSU.
Peters probably won't face the same situation at Kansas, but two years is a long time, and he probably didn't need to lock up a scholarship. Peters has a muscular build and surprising speed for his size, and he can also shoot from the perimeter, making him an impossible matchup for most defenders.
Peters would probably always have his choice of schools, so he could've waited. He could've enjoyed the official visits and the VIP treatment. But after a final visit to Kansas a couple of months ago, he told his father that he was ready.
"And when Zach says he ready," Tim Peters said, "he's a man of few words."
Although only 17, Peters did look like a man as he towered over teammates and classmates who congratulated him Wednesday. He was also a man of few words, but those words said a lot.
"It's Kansas," he said. "It doesn't get better than that."