Tampa Catholic three-sport standout Austin Aikens, the third-leading scorer for the Crusaders basketball team and a fledgling college wide-receiver prospect, has transferred to Plant.
Crusaders coach Bob Henriquez confirmed the transfer, saying it was his understanding Aikens' family -- which includes younger brother Aaron -- was establishing residence in South Tampa. Aikens' dad, Teryl, graduated from TC with Henriquez.
"It's disappointing certainly," Henriquez said. "Truthfully, it disappoints me more as an alumnus who graduated with Teryl instead of as a coach. It's the world we live in these days."
As a sophomore, Aikens (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) had 13 catches for 139 yards in an offense geared around multi-dimensional quarterback Christian Green and prolific tailback Hank McCloud.
Henriquez said the graduation of Green had left Aikens' parents concerned about who would get the ball to their son in 2010.
"He has a great deal of potential, but like I tell my players, there's a great difference between potential and production," Henriquez said. "He was a big part of our plans but we're going to be fine."
Aikens' departure could have a more profound impact on the basketball team, where he would've been the No. 2 returning scorer. As a sophomore, Aikens averaged 14.5 points and 2.3 steals, scoring 20 or more six times.