Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe junior Jalen Brown is already well versed in concentration. The 2014 athlete is already considered to be one the top players in his class. He's the current Gatorade Player of the Year in Arizona and the owner of 19 scholarship offers. Looking toward the (bright) future is natural for a guy in his shoes.
Still, he's guarded against it well. Brown names no early favorites in his recruitment and won't begin to speculate on which programs could be recipients of official visits this fall. There's no chance he'll take a guess at which school might be next to offer, either. That stuff will come in time. His focus is always squarely on the present.
"I went to the junior day at Arizona State over the weekend," Brown said. "It was pretty good. I talked to a lot of the coaches and saw some of the facilities. That's the big thing now … that visit and the visit to Arizona this week."
The event didn't dramatically change his perception of the hometown Sun Devils. It wasn't for not, either. The visit was every bit learning experience he'd hoped it would be. When the conversation turns to what he learned about ASU that he didn't before, he forms a response immediately.
"I have a better understanding of the players side of things now," Brown said. I got to hang out with a bunch of them. I got to know what they think of everything and of the coaches. I think I have a better understanding of what the coaches are all about now, too."
From one in-state school to another, Brown will drive south to Tucson during the coming weekend to check out Arizona's version of junior day. Comparisons will be made and the schools will be contrasted. Mostly, though, the trip is of the "feeler" variety.
Don't expect a decision or even a public lean. Brown operates methodically and intends to continue his steady pace throughout the process.
"I've been to Arizona a few times already and I really like the coaching staff down there," Brown said. "The last visit was a good visit, so I feel like this one is going to be really good, too.
"I'm probably going to wait to make any kind for decision as long as possible. It's a tough choice. I want to see all of my options first."
Plans beyond the coming weekend are sketchy at this point. Brown says he'd like to set up a trip to get a look at some of the Midwest schools involved in his recruitment. If such a tour happens - and Brown thinks it will - it could include Notre Dame, Ohio State, Northwestern, Michigan and Michigan State.
He cautions that the schools he tosses out as potential visit spots are in no way final. Instead, the final word on that will come in the month ahead. He's nothing if not careful.
"Nothing is set in stone yet, but I'm going to try to get out to see those Big 10 schools in the spring," Brown said.
Brown plays both safety and wide receiver at Mountain Pointe, which he helped lead to an appearance in the state title game last season. He is being recruited almost exclusively as a receiver.