Rutgers has another scholarship to work with after the school released Class of 2015 commitment Kejuan Johnson from his Letter of Intent. The news of Johnson’s release was first reported by Scout.com‘s Evan Daniels.
The 6-foot-6 Johnson attended Hargrave Military Academy this past season. According to Jerry Carino of Gannett New Jersey, Johnson was having difficulty gaining admission into Rutgers and that could have played a part in the decision for the split.
An undersized forward who can rebound and finish near the hoop, Johnson is originally a native of Atlanta. With Class of 2015 options being limited at this point, Johnson could hear from a couple of programs still looking for depth for the upcoming 2015-16 season.
Each Monday and Friday, College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips goes over some important news and notes in the world of college basketball recruiting. This week, Chris Clarke flips his commitment, Rutgers adds a wing to developing class and Western Kentucky picks up a steady performer.
Clarke is from Virginia and is opting to play closer to home, but it looks like that this sort of move was in the works for some time. The timing was just too convenient for Clarke to find a new school when the allegations just came to light against Southern Miss under the reign of Tyndall. Clarke isn’t signed to any Letter of Intent, so this is perfectly legal, but the public doesn’t often hear about other schools trying to speak to — or even actively recruit — kids who are committed.
The Virginia Beach native is the No. 59 prospect in the 2015 class, according to Rivals, and at 6-foot-6, his activity makes a huge difference on the floor and should mean a lot for the way Buzz Williams like to play ball. Clarke had already taken an official visit to Virginia Tech in late September, so he was familiar with the program, and decided that staying closer to home and playing for Buzz Williams was the better option.
Sanders and Johnson give Jordan two quality athletes for Big Ten play and both are physical enough to hang in the league. Jordan had to turn over that roster quickly and he’s done all that he can to put new players are seniors Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack this season. But next season, those two guys are gone and Sanders and Johnson will help replace those two players.
It’s going to be tough to replace two very good players, but that’s what Jordan has to do in order to rebuild this program. Rutgers still needs a lot more talent to compete for postseason bids, but this is a start.
Western Kentucky lands a solid guard
Quietly doing a nice job on the recruiting trail the last few years has been Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers continued this stretch this week with the commitment of three-star guard Marlon Hunter. The 6-foot-2 Hunter ran with the Arkansas Wings in the EYBL and showed flashes of promise while averaging 13 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals per game on 47 percent shooting.
If Hunter can improve his perimeter shot, he can be a versatile, all-around guard for Western Kentucky, and as it is, he could crack the rotation early because he can be an impact on the defensive side of the ball.
Combined with three-star point guard Chris McNeal and this is a nice backcourt tandem for Western Kentucky in this class. The Hilltoppers have had their fair share of good guards over the years and they’re hoping that McNeal and Hunter can be the next tandem.
With Malick Kone entering his senior season and Iowa State transfer Kerwin Okoro being a redshirt junior, some additional depth on the wing wouldn’t be a bad thing for Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan. Jordan and his staff took care of that Thursday afternoon, as it was reported by multiple outlets that Hargrave Military Academy guard/forward Kejuan Johnson has verbally committed to the Big Ten program.
The 6-foot-6 Johnson’s decision comes on the heels of his official visit to Rutgers last weekend, and recruiting analysts consider him to be capable of playing at either the two or the three. Hargrave head coach A.W. Hamilton discussed Johnson’s skill set with Jerry Carino of Gannett New Jersey.
“Kejuan has a high motor, he has a good mid-range game and he’s a hard-nosed player,” Hamilton said. “He’s one of those kids who keeps things close to the vest, but when he came back from Rutgers he was like, ‘Coach, I like some of these other schools, but my heart’s with Rutgers.’”
In addition to Okoro, current freshmen Mike Williams and Ryan Johnson (who can only practice this season) and junior Bishop Daniels are the scholarship players who will have eligibility remaining at the shooting guard and small forward spots when Johnson arrives on campus next year.
Johnson is Rutgers’ second verbal commitment in the Class of 2015, joining four-star point guard Corey Sanders.