2014 center Jahlil Okafor, currently ranked as the top prospect in the 2014 class according to the 247 Sports Composite Rankings, cut his list to 8 schools today. Okafor, a center at Chicago (IL) Whitney Young, announced the list via Twitter.
In no particular order: My final 8 ArizonaBaylorDukeIllinoisKentuckyKansasMichigan stateOhio state— Jahlil Okafor (@jahprobound) May 29, 2013
Though not currently considered a favorite for Okafor's services, the Kentucky Wildcats made the list of finalists and remain in contention for an official visit. Kentucky offered Okafor last fall, and he is one of two true centers that currently holds a UK offer in the 2014 class (with fellow Chicagoan Cliff Alexander being the other).
The Duke Blue Devils are considered the early leader for Okafor's services, though area Big 10 schools like Illinois and Michigan St. remain in the hunt. Okafor currently has only one official visit planned, to the Baylor Bears on August 30. That day is a doozy for the Bears, as they are also expecting visits from fellow five-star prospects Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow.
There have been rumors that Okafor and Jones will attend the same college as a package deal, with Winslow possibly being the third player to sign up. While package deals rarely work in execution, there remains a strong possibility that Jones and Okafor will team up. The Wildcats are currently recruiting both players, as are Duke, Duke, Michigan St., Ohio St., Kansas and Baylor. Kentucky is not on Winslow's list of finalists.
It's still undetermined how hard John Calipari and his staff will push for Okafor and Jones. The Wildcats feel like they are in a good spot with the aforementioned Alexander as well as Texan Emmanuel Mudiay, a point guard ranked comparably with Jones. Last year, for example, Calipari chose to back off stud forward Jabari Parker in favor of pursuing other recruits like Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon and Andrew Wiggins. For now, with both Okafor and Jones still considering Kentucky, expect Coach Cal to continue his recruitment.