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Rutgers Basketball Recruiting: Florida pipeline established

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Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Today, incoming freshmen Corey Sanders and Jonathan Laurent arrive on campus to begin their Rutgers careers.  Both are Florida natives, Sanders from Lakeland and Laurent from Orlando.  Laurent actually went to the same high school as 2016 football commit Jonathan Pollock, Dr. Phillips.  They are the only Florida natives on the roster and are expected to lead Rutgers back to respectability and beyond.  After this week it looks like they might be joined throughout their careers by more players from the sunshine state.  This week Eddie Jordan and staff have offered five scholarships to players in the classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019.  All from Florida!

  • LJ Figueroa is a 4-star scoring wing and ranked the 69th best player in the class of 2017, according to 247Sports.com's Matt Agnoli.  He also holds offers from Miami, Virginia Tech, UCF, Mississippi State and South Florida. He has received more interest this week as well from programs like Missouri, Florida, Marquette and Temple. Rutgers only has Laurent as a true wing player for now, so stocking this position with talent for the future is a priority.

  • Antwann Jones is a 3-star shooting guard from Tampa and comes from the same AAU program as Corey Sanders.  The site future150.com offers a bio here.  He will be entering his sophomore year in high school but apparently already has NBA 3-point range.  Jones attended a camp in Atlanta last month for the top 100 sophomores in the country and according the camp's twitter account, did pretty well:

  • Guard, Blake Hinson, will be entering his freshman year but played Varsity as an 8th grader and according to MaxPreps.com, he averaged 22.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.  He actually is a two sport star and was offered scholarships in both sports by Florida State in May in addition to Miami.  Rutgers is his third basketball offer and he holds additional football offers from Michigan and North Carolina, according to 247Sports.com. His older brother, class of 2016 Evan Hinson, committed to play Tight End for Miami and is expected to play basketball there too.  Andy Egan needs to let Kyle Flood know about Blake!  Here is more info about Blake's basketball prospects posted by his AAU team, also the Showtime Ballers:

Rutgers continued to make a push for talent at this AAU juggernaut, making two more offers Thursday:

  • Isaiah Richardson is from Orlando and it appears Rutgers is his first big time offer.  Being that he is a class of 2016 recruit, that is a bit surprising.  However, the Showtime Ballers AAU program is so loaded with talent, it is possible he has slipped under the radar amongst his teammates. Adding depth at the wing position for next season is a must, in Eddie and Shoes we trust.  He probably received an endorsement from Corey Sanders for the staff to offer.
  • Tevin Florent from Kissimmee is another wing offered from the class of 2017 that just started playing for the Ballers.  He holds an offer from Bowling Green in addition to Rutgers.  He is known on the Florida prep circuit and will benefit from increased exposure playing with the prestigious AAU program.

According to 247Sports.com, Rutgers previously offered class of 2017 shooting guard Terrell Turner from Hollywood, Florida back in March. He played with Laurent at Dr. Phillips high school.  He is a 3-star recruit with additional offers from UCF, Memphis and Murray State along with interest from Syracuse and Ohio State.  According to Prep Hoops Florida, his recruiting seems to be taking off this week:

With the current recruiting efforts for the Class of 2016 and the new facilities plan being in the news, Eddie and staff continue to target talent for the future.  Building on the success of landing Florida recruits Sanders and Laurent and developing relationships with those programs is key to Eddie's recruiting success.  If he can consistently secure commitments from the top players in a top AAU program like the Showtime Ballers, the program's future is so bright it will have to wear shades!!!