Last week was the second of three live recruiting periods in July. I covered new offers from the first week and current targets for both 2016 and 2017 classes here. Now it's time to review the new offers that Eddie Jordan and staff made this past week and some updates on current targets, including Kwe Parker.
Rutgers University, University of Central Florida and Old Dominion have all offered 2016 PG @JeffD_11 after the first July open period!!!
— DC Bluedevils (@DCBDbasketball) July 13, 2015
One offer I missed last week was Jeff Dowtin, a 6'3" point guard from Washington D.C. The 3-star recruit has multiple mid-major offers including three from the Atlantic-10 with Rhode Island, St. Joseph's and George Mason. The Washington Post profiled Dowtin in June here. Of course, Eddie Jordan knows the area well and Rutgers was the first high-major to offer last week. Dowtin is the second point guard Rutgers offered last week as Quentin Jackson Jr. received one as well.
According to Verbal Commits, Rutgers now has four offers out to point guards in the class of 2016. However, Bryce Aiken from the Patrick School has become a national recruit with multiple high major offers. Rutgers offered him over two years ago but it doesn't appear the staff feel they have much of a shot with their recent interest in Jackson Jr. and Dowtin. Asante Gist is another local point guard that Rutgers offered close to two years ago. Gist played at the Peach Jam two weeks ago and the Lawson-Oladipo All-American camp last week but there hasn't been much said about his interest in Rutgers. By offering Dowtin and Jackson Jr., Jordan and staff are showing they are not sitting still and continue to be aggressive in making offers to multiple guards in the class of 2016.
Caught up w/Andre Rafus (St. Benedict's, MD/2017) @ElevateHoops , he has so many offers that he uses a list on his phone to keep track of em
— Eugene Rapay (@erapay5) July 9, 2015
Blessed to say I have received my 18th offer from Rutgers University ⚪️ # Blessed pic.twitter.com/ET3rYI0aqU
— Andre Rafus (@cantstoprafus) July 17, 2015
While most of the campers left for the intermission period at the Adidas AA Camp, Andre Rafus is here working on his shooting..Good kid!
— Ballboy Hype (@ballboyhype) July 16, 2015
Andre Rafus is a class of 2017 recruit in high demand. He is from Baltimore but has transferred to St. Benedict's in New Jersey for his junior year. His decision was profiled by Adam Zagoria here. The consensus 4-star 6'9" forward has multple high-major offers according to 247sports.com. They include UCONN, Georgetown, UCLA, St. John's, Missouri, Tennessee, West Virginia, USC and Kansas State as well as mid-major powers Wichita State and Dayton. His athleticism is off the charts and surely a player that has Eddie Jordan and staff dreaming of the possibilities if Rafus committed. His recruitment will be interesting to watch as it progresses, as Rutgers will have closer access to Rafus now that he will now play his high school ball in the garden state.
Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan and an assistant watching DC Premier & 1 Nation 16s
— Garrett Tucker (@GTuckerHoops) July 18, 2015
Hearing good things about '17 E. Roosevelt/@DCPremierHoops guard Naji Marshall. 34 pts in UA open div. finals, 30 in 1st half. Late bloomer.
— Jeff Ermann (@Jeff_Ermann) July 19, 2015
Naji Marshall is another player that Rutgers seems to be identifying ahead of many mid-major and high-major schools. The only offer on record before this past week for Marshall was Towson, but that quickly changed. In addition to Rutgers, the 6'5" guard received offers from Rhode Island and Manhattan this past weekend. Marshall is only entering his junior year and should receive more high-major offers if he continues playing like he did in the UA finals on Sunday.
Potential Offers Coming
De’Riante Jenkins had 12 points (6-7 FG) in tonight’s Rucker Park game in New York. What a neat opportunity for these kids. #iubb
— Justin Albers (@Justin_Albers) July 17, 2015
De'Riante Jenkins is a national recruit that Rutgers and assistant coach Greg "Shoes" Vetrone have been tracking for awhile. He is a consensus 4-star wing and #61 in ESPN's top 100 for the class of 2016. Rivals has him as #63 in their top 150 and according to their site, Jenkins has offers from Indiana, Charlotte, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and Georgia Tech. There is no word on whether Rutgers has offered him yet, but Jenkins is definitely on their radar due to a big connection here. Jenkins played last season at West Oaks Academy with Corey Sanders. He was originally in the class of 2015 but he reclassified for 2016 and is taking a post-graduate year. Below is Jenkins highlight tape from last season and then a 1 on 1 video of him playing Sanders after practice one day.
UPDATES ON CURRENT TARGETS
Minlend, IMO, is big-time prospect. College body, mature, knock shooter. https://t.co/aBxV4VHB7x
— Langston Wertz Jr. (@langstonwertzjr) July 19, 2015
Minlend is a 6'4" shooting guard from North Carolina who Rutgers offered earlier this year. He recently enrolled at Fork Union in Virginia for a post-graduate year. 247sports has him rated at 3-stars and he has offers from Charlotte, Yale, Rice, Coastal Carolina and others. Playing at Fork Union this year should put him more on the radar of mid-major and high-major schools.
Above is a profile by Adam Zagoria on Powell and his recruitment. He is a big time point guard target for Rutgers who they offered over a year ago. His profile continues to rise this summer and should continue in the fall with his transfer to prep powerhouse South Kent in Connecticut. Powell would be a huge get for Rutgers as he can run an offense with authority but can also create his own shots and can shoot from long range. ESPN has Powell ranked #93 in their top 100, right behind....
My decision come soon Florida State, Florida, Rutgers, Wake Forest.
— Kwe Parker (@iJump_tooMuch) July 19, 2015
High-flying 2016 guard Kwe Parker reveals final four schools http://t.co/Cl5zjGoxAT
— CollegeBasketbllTalk (@CBTonNBC) July 19, 2015
Kwe Parker, the 90th ranked player in the country according to ESPN and Rivals, tweeted on Sunday that he was close to making a decision. This is good news, as the longer time passed from his official visit in mid-June, the less likely I thought it would be for Parker to choose Rutgers. He already delayed his self-imposed decision deadline from the end of June. It's likely Parker waited for the July live recruiting period to see if additional high-major offers came in. According to 247sports, Parker does have an offer from Florida State, who is listed in his top four schools that he is deciding from. However, I haven't seen a confirmed offer from Florida anywhere but perhaps he does have one.
Either way, Wake Forest and Rutgers have long been believed to be the two favorites to land Parker. Wake has two scheduled visits with Eli Wright and Richard Washington, 3-star guards from the class of 2016 who will be on campus the end of July. Our friends at Blogger So Dear believe this means the Wake staff is prioritizing them over Parker now, after months of them thinking he was a top target. In addition, hours after Parker stated his decision was coming soon, two national recruiting analysts at 247sports changed their prediction for Kwe from Wake to Rutgers. Both of whom have had Wake listed as the destination for Parker since the beginning of his recruitment. And then yesterday, Jerry Meyer the Director of Scouting for 247 switched his pick to Rutgers as well.
Perhaps Wake told Parker he needed to decide soon before Wright and Washington visit in two weeks. However, if that was the case and Kwe was set on Wake it would seem odd to not already announce. Regardless of rumors, predictions and speculation, one thing is for certain. Wake has a deeper back court and is recruiting multiple top guards for the class of 2016. On the flip side, Rutgers will be losing Bishop Daniels and Omari Ray Grier after this season. It seems Rutgers has made it clear to Parker he is a priority and has a great shot of stepping into the starting back court from day one, alongside Corey Sanders. Parker broke his foot back in February and missed two months. While some schools backed off or lost interest, Rutgers kept pushing and stayed in it.
As I have said previously, unless another high-major school like Florida makes an offer to Parker, we have a good shot here. Of course, there could be concern that even if he commits now to Rutgers, things could change if those schools offered later on. However, Florida will not be losing anyone from their stacked back court after this coming season, with only two juniors. Parker has made it clear he wanted to have his decision made before the fall. Opportunity is everything and Rutgers has it in spades for Parker. All that is left for him to do is to take it!