joins the basketball team at the University of Idaho in the fall of 2014, there will be as many players on the Vandal roster as he has classmates at tiny, ultra-rural Colton High School (Wash.)
Straughan attends and plays for one of the smallest high schools in the state of Washington with an enrollment of just 65 students. There are 17 in his junior class at Colton. Wikipedia puts the total population of the remote community at 432.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound guard gave the masses in town something to talk about Tuesday when he made a verbal commitment to play for head coach Don Verlin and the Vandals.
"It's a perfect fit," Straughan said of the Idaho program. "I've been around the players quite a bit and they have a plan for me. They told me I was their number one priority and I feel like they wanted me the most."
Despite Colton's lonely position near the Washington-Idaho border and tiny 2B status for sports, Straughan has drummed up plenty of attention from Division I programs. Brown, Boise State, Bucknell, LSU, Hawai'i, Texas A&M, San Diego, Tennessee, Utah, Washington State and Yale are among the schools that have gone beyond the form letter phase with their interest.
Straughan averaged around 26 points, seven assists and six rebounds as a junior. He has over 1,200 career points already and went for 42 in a single game last winter.
"Jake is a scoring point guard who also does a really good job getting into the teeth of the defense and facilitating," Colton basketball coach Seth Paine said. "His skill set is really a lost art."
Straughan carries a 3.97 grade point average while also starring in football and baseball. Despite his commitment to play basketball for Idaho, he plans to continue playing all three sports in high school.
"My teammates would be pretty disappointed in me if I didn't," Straughan joked. "It's not a very big school. There aren't a lot of other options."
The transition from tiny Colton to Division I basketball will be eased by what his older brother Josh accomplished for the football team at Division II Stillman College in Alabama last fall.
As a true freshman starting quarterback, Josh threw for 1,849 yards and 14 touchdowns — including seven TDs and just a single pick in his last two games of the season.
"He went down to Alabama and a lot of people doubted him, said he couldn't go that far away," Jake said. "He will be there for me and supportive like he always is."
Paine knows Jake will have doubters of his own but can't envision him not being successful in Moscow.
"He's a remarkable kid with an unbelievable work ethic," Paine said. "I'm biased, but I really think he will win a starting job. It may not happen his first year but maybe going into his second year."