Jaemyn Brakefield is one of the top basketball prospects in the 2020 class.
And he was in Oxford over the weekend.
The 6-foot-8, 210-pound five-star forward was one of a handful of highly-ranked prospects Ole Miss hosted Friday through Sunday. He was joined by three 2019 prospects in four-star D.J. Jeffries, four-star Chandler Lawson and three-star Antavion Collum.
However, unlike his fellow visitors, who were all visiting officially, the recruitment of Brakefield is still very much in the early stages. He has no favorites and his visits are unofficial and fluid. He’ll likely next trip to Xavier. Ole Miss, though, had an opportunity to put its best foot forward.
“I’ve been to Ole Miss before, so my focus is on building a better relationship with the coaches and players here now and getting familiar with the whole campus and seeing how things roll,” he said.
“Their main pitch to me is they’d love to have me and they know I’m from here. They feel like I fit in their system. It’d feel real good to play at Ole Miss because I know a lot of people from here. It’s basically home and it’s closer to home.”
Brakefield, whose hometown is Jackson, is ranked by the 247Sports Composite as the No. 19 overall player in 2020 and No. 4 power forward. He currently stars for Huntington (W.V.) Prep, where he carries the distinction of the No. 1 player in his state.
Brakefield lived in Milwaukee until he moved to Jackson at age 11. He began his high school career at Madison-Ridgeland (Miss.) Academy, and he still plays on an AAU team based out of Jackson. He trains at the D1 center in Madison in the summer.
“I’ve been into Ole Miss ever since I moved to Mississippi,” Brakefield said. “It’s carried on from there. I was on Ole Miss before (first-year Rebel head coach) Kermit (Davis) even got here.”
Brakefield holds some 24 offers. Florida, Alabama, Georgetown, Kansas, LSU, Ohio State, Xavier, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech are among the other schools in pursuit.
But he’s nowhere close to trimming his list. He’s feeling out the process and listening to each and every pitch.
“It’s usually all the same with every school,” he said. “Pretty much every school hits me up every day to check on me. My phone is blowing up, but I’m used to it now, though.
“It’s still kind of early. Having 24 offers, it seems that it’s pretty big, but still taking it slow and trying to develop relationships with every coach and give each program a chance so I can view their campus or at least have a conversation.”
And, no, he doesn’t have a leader. However, Ole Miss was able to at least establish its place in the chase with a strong showing. Along with the typical visit itinerary, Brakefield and Co. took in the Ole Miss football team’s nationally-televised showdown with top-ranked Alabama.
“I wouldn’t rank any school ahead of anybody else,” he said. “I’m even right now with everything and taking it slow. But (Ole Miss) is home.”