Jon Howell was setting up a visit to Notre Dame that would follow Jodi's visit to Purdue this weekend, when Jodi told him to cancel it.
"The plan was to go to the Purdue scrimmage, then visit Notre Dame the next weekend," Jon told Old Gold Free Press on Sunday morning. "Jodi said she was going to Purdue to commit."
Howell's decision came down to two schools, Purdue and Notre Dame, but she was also impressed with Texas and South Carolina. Texas got her attention through handwritten letters from head coach Jody Conradt. Jodi has an uncle in Texas, and planned to take an unofficial visit while visiting family this summer. When the invitation to Nike came, she postponed that trip. That's when the Howell's letter carrier began to dislike them.
"She had to commit," Jon laughed through a hoarse voice that is bound to only get worse as he spends the day on the telephone talking to reporters, friends and family. "I have one of those smaller mailboxes. Notre Dame came in late after the Nike Camp. They had only sent a form letter before. After Nike, they started recruiting her like she was a senior."
Jodi took an unofficial visit to South Bend following her trip to Purdue for Mackey Midnight Madness. The Howell's came away with a crowded view of the Notre Dame campus, during that home football weekend.
"It was a mass of people," said Jon, who was asked by Notre Dame to schedule another visit.
Jodi also took a look at the University of South Carolina, interest sparked by her mother's Carolina basketball roots. Her mother, Penny, was an all-state player in North Myrtle Beach, and went on to play collegiately at Newberry College in South Carolina.
In July at the Nike Camp, Jon Howell mentioned two programs he seemed to be the most impressed with at that moment. Along with Purdue, Ohio State's program was appealing, and while recruiting pressure picked up after Nike from the Buckeyes, they did not do enough to match the attention they were receiving from Purdue and Notre Dame.
Jodi's last two visits to Purdue coincided with the visit of top Texas senior shooting guard Tye Jackson. Conversations with Kristy Curry have been about Jodi playing the wing, either at the two or three positions. The fact Purdue could land a talented shooting guard in the class before her graduation from high school, did not become a concern.
"Coach Curry said she was not just recruiting me as a shooting guard," Jodi said after jumping off the computer to email the news to current Boiler freshman Katie Gearlds. "Even if she hadn't told me that, I probably would have committed anyway. I have a real great feeling about the campus."
When asked if the fact Jodi's college expenses now being taken care of would free up a college fund he had been building for her, he admitted he had none.
"There are just an aweful lot of colleges out there with money," said Jon, cautioning that he didn't want to sound too overconfident. "If you have a player that is fundamentally sound, you can get her into a college. I've sent 13 players in 21 years to college for free."
Now he has sent his own.