Waseca captains

Waseca captains Ryan Dufault, Kyreese Willingham and Andrew Morgan hold up the 2AA south subsection championship trophy. The trio have all gotten looks to play in college but the recruiting process has shifted due to COVID-19. (Nick Gerhardt/Waseca County News)

Three Waseca juniors expected a summer packed with AAU basketball games in front of college coaches but now that’s all on hold.

Waseca’s Ryan Dufault, Kyreese Willingham and Andrew Morgan all play for the AAU team Minnesota Heat and this summer was going to be a prime opportunity to show off their skills to a variety of college coaches. But with a stay-in-place order and sports shut down for the time being, things have changed slightly for the trio as they try to map out their future.

The time away from the court has meant more of an effort on their end and from their AAU coach to send out film to prospective programs. It has also ruled out any potential visits to any campuses to see what school fits best.

“You can’t go on any visits right now,” said Dufualt, who is attracting attention for regional Division II football and basketball programs. “This is the time period where people are looking for all their 2020s. You’re not going to be able to build relationships.”

Recruits will typically meet future teammates during visits but even that will have to move to a virtual setting.

Not only does building relationships get tougher, there are the simpler things like not getting to see what the dorms look like and building familiarity with where they’ll need to go on campus.

The three have missed two tournaments already. The team had a trip to North Carolina scheduled for April 10-12.

“This summer was kind of planned pretty big and it’s been a letdown,” Morgan said.

Dufault and Willingham have received attention for basketball and football. Those football camps recruits attend at colleges have also been pushed back.

“It’s going to be very difficult for schools to contact me,” said Willingham, who has received football and basketball offers from Minnesota State University, Mankato and a football offer from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

They rely on getting film out. Willingham and Dufault post videos on their Twitter accounts while Morgan relies on an AAU coach to edit and send film out to colleges.

Some colleges have turned to virtual visits to lure recruits but the trio hasn’t gone on any virtual visits. Morgan had unofficial visits to Wofford and Valparaiso scheduled but those plans remain on hold.

All three have time before making their college decisions. The national signing day isn’t until Feb. 3, 2021 but early signing for basketball begins in November and in December for football. The absence of an AAU season means Morgan will likely delay his college decision.

“It probably won’t be until next year until the end of the year or the middle of senior season, mostly because this AAU season got pushed back,” he said.

Reach Sports Editor Nick Gerhardt at 507-835-5447 or follow him on Twitter @WCNSports. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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