Top-75 prospect Payton Dastrup plans to take mission before college

Payton Dastrup is one of the top-75 players in the class of 2014, but he won’t suit up as a college freshman until the fall of 2016.

You see, Dastrup plans to take his two-year Latter-day Saints church mission right out of high school. So while he’s technically a high school senior, you won’t see him on a college basketball court until three-plus years from now.

“It doesn’t change much for me,” Dastrup said, “but schools are looking at me as a freshman in the class of 2016.”

A 6-foot-10 center from Mesa (Ariz.), Dastrup was limited on the spring circuit due to injury. When healthy, however, the big man is a difficult matchup for opponents. He doesn’t mind banging in the paint and has a good stroke in the mid-range and on the perimeter.

Dastrup has offers from BYU, Virginia, Utah State, Florida, Arizona and Arizona State, with interest coming from a variety of schools, including Michigan, Duke, Kansas and Notre Dame.

When he was at the NBPA Top 100 camp in Charlottesville, Va., two weeks ago, he discussed his interest from Virginia.

“They were one of my first five offers,” Dastrup said. “Coach [Tony] Bennett has come seen me at my old school. It was really cool to see them willing to come out to the West Coast. They’re in the mix for an official visit.”

He has visited the local schools, Arizona and Arizona State, while also tripping to Stanford for its elite camp last summer. In February, Dastrup checked out Florida during the Gators’ win over Arkansas.

Despite the visits, Dastrup isn’t ready to make a decision.

“I haven’t really narrowed my list down,” he said. “I’m looking to narrow it down, probably after the July period, to five or seven schools and have them battle for the official visits. I’ll make my decision somewhere in the fall.”

Dastrup is ranked No. 69 in the 247 Sports Composite. 

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