Travis Carroll had been eyeing the Boilermakers for a while now.
But even so, he still didn't think he would verbal to Purdue this soon after receiving a scholarship offer. But when Coach Matt Painter extended the invitation Thursday afternoon, after Carroll had impressed during Purdue's team camp, the 6-foot-9, 220-pound big man wasted little time in answering; he called Painter Saturday to accept.
"I wasn't expecting to do it this early," said Carroll, Purdue's first verbal in the 2010 class, "but I just thought it was right for me to do it. I thought it was right and everybody else did too, so I decided to do it now.
Although the offer came only a couple days ago, the Danville center says that Purdue has always been at the top of his list. He has an offer from Indiana State as well, along with interest from Iowa, Notre Dame, Butler, Ohio State and Indiana.
"They've shown a lot of interest," Carroll said of the Boilermakers. "Painter was the first coach at my school, so that said a lot to me. Just the interest and attention they've been giving me is really great. I've always remembered that."
As a sophomore at Danville, Carroll averaged 20.7 points and 13.2 rebounds per game, establishing himself as one of the state's premier post players. Having recently turned 16, he's likely to grow an inch or two as well.
"I'm a 5," he said. "I can play a little 4, but Coach Painter was saying he'd use me more as a 5. That's what I'm best at, so I think I'll fit that role.
"I've been shooting a little more from the outside (and) catching it and driving it. But mostly I'm more of a back-to-the-basket type, post moves, up-and-unders, stuff like that."
Carroll's trip to Purdue for team camp was only his latest unofficial to West Lafayette. But this one seemed to have the greatest impact.
"I was able to walk around campus with my team, looking for placing to eat and things," he said. "I got to see the campus a little bit more than I had seen before. It helped out a lot."
Carroll says he's happy to have his decision over early, because he "made the right choice."
"I think they are a really good school," he said. "The coaches are great, the whole staff. The program that Painter is building now is really good. I think they are going to win a lot of championships in the future. And the players, they are all great guys."
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