NEW ALBANY, Ind. – The final milestones in Romeo Langford’s storied high school career and recruitment are beginning to appear.
The No. 5 player in the country in 2018 and the highest-ranked uncommitted senior in America, Langford still names no leader among his three finalists: IU, Kansas and Vanderbilt. But he is beginning to take his last few visits, and with the end of his high school season also approaching, a final decision isn’t far away either.
“He’s still observing,” said Tim Langford, Romeo’s father. “And he’s focused and concentrated on winning state with his team. That said, he’s not putting too much emphasis on the college side.”
Romeo Langford is currently leading a one-loss New Albany team through the stretch run.
Kansas coach Bill Self made the trip to southern Indiana with an assistant last Friday, watching Langford and the Bulldogs blow away Evansville North, 112-43. One night later, in an 87-44 win over Jasper, Langford’s 38 points moved him into sole possession of sixth all-time in scoring in Indiana high school history.
His athleticism and ability to score in a variety of ways are just two of the reasons why Self, IU coach Archie Miller and Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew have all made Langford a priority.
Langford responded in kind with an unannounced unofficial visit to Bloomington on Jan. 14. He sat behind Indiana’s bench and watched as Miller’s team dismantled Northwestern, 66-46.
“He said it was a good visit,” Tim Langford said. “He got a chance to sit close to the bench and watch coach Miller coach, see how he coached the team, and he said coach Miller gets the best out of his kids. He saw how he pushes them, and talent-wise, he gets the best out of the players that he has.
“He kind of observed the first half. He said the players had a lot of open shots they didn’t really take, but in the second half, the only difference was, they starting taking those shots. It made them look even better.”
Miller, Tim Langford said, has left a good impression.
“He seems like he’s an aggressive coach, a straightforward coach,” Tim Langford said. “I like that type of coach, who’s gonna get the best out of the kids.”
Vanderbilt will likely host Langford next.
Drew brought his entire staff to New Albany earlier this month to watch Langford and the Bulldogs face Cincinnati-area powerhouse Princeton — led by Syracuse signee Darius Bazley — on ESPN.
Tim Langford said New Albany’s schedule may prevent that Vanderbilt visit from coinciding with a game. But at very least, Romeo will go down and watch the Commodores practice.
Distance of travel might prevent a second trip to Kansas. Langford has already taken official visits to all three schools.
“We’ll go down there and just visit, watch a practice,” Tim Langford said of Vanderbilt. “As far as Kansas, we just pay attention on TV and see how they run things, stuff like that.”
ESPN coming to town for that Princeton game triggered a series of rumors Langford might commit then. His father said that was always an option, but only if Romeo was ready.
The McDonald’s All American game March 28 in Atlanta, where the Langfords have family, could provide a similar stage.
Or the family could wait until April, as previously planned.
“If he had that decision, (Langford could) make that announcement (at the McDonald’s All American game),” Tim Langford said. “But if not, we’ll wait until April.”
Right now, both father and son are treating recruitment as a secondary concern. The scoring records too.
New Albany won a state title in 2016, before coming up short last season. Romeo Langford wants a second championship to cap his high school career.
“His focus,” Tim Langford said, “is winning state.”