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Byline: Edgar Thompson TRIBUNE REPORTER
For R.T. Guinn, the choices are many. His dad will be the gatekeeper as college recruiters approach.
To sign this big man, a college will have to go through an even bigger man.
Richard Guinn -- all 6-foot-7, 420 pounds of him -- intends to be a watchdog as colleges compete for the services of his son, R.T., one of Albuquerque's top basketball prospects.
Any school that wants the services of the 6-foot-9, 220-pound R.T. Guinn, a senior-to-be at Cibola High School, will have to pass the screening of Guinn's dad first.
Determined to help his son find the right college, Richard Guinn has been examining the coaching, overall talent, program stability and image of any school that expresses interest.
The 33 schools, including the University of New Mexico, that have contacted R.T. each received a personal letter from Dad. Guinn let them know his son will not be signing on the dotted line until his five official visits have been completed.
"There's no doubt he's given a lot of thought to it," Lobo coach Dave Bliss said. "That's good because they are going to know a whole lot about the school R.T. is going to."
R.T. plans to pick which five schools he'll visit by mid-August, Guinn said.
Then, Guinn will send a registered letter to each of them -- something he calls his own "letter of intent." Upon his and his son's arrival, the same letter will be hand-delivered, too.
The letter's message is simple: Pressure R.T. Guinn, and he'll be going elsewhere.
"I'm trying to cover all the angles and let it be a free decision of the boy himself," Richard Guinn said. "If he wants to go to Podunk U. in Podunk, Africa, that will be his decision.
"I told R.T., 'Don't worry about it,'" he added. "'You have fun and take your time and enjoy your visits. I'll take all the heat.'"
So, Guinn has been serving as a clearinghouse ever since the recruiting letters began pouring in last season when R.T. averaged 18.2 points and a city-leading 14.6 rebounds.
Since then, Guinn said, he has read what he …