As his first Big Ten season approaches, Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan knows his program has a chance to capitalize on the recruiting trail and gain momentum moving forward. This week, he did just that. On Thursday, Brandenton, FL, point guard Corey Sanders (no. 9 PG, no. 67 overall) took to YouTube to announce his commitment to the Scarlet Knights.
As it stands today, Sanders is the lone commitment in Rutgers' 2015 class. However, three spots remain, and with another three scholarships opening up in 2016, Rutgers will want to fill all of its spots in the 2015 cycle.
The 2013 and 2014 Rutgers classes mostly featured size. Of the four signees currently on Rutgers' roster (one from 2013, three from 2014), all but one are frontcourt players. For that reason, Rutgers is still targeting guards for 2015. And when it comes to 2015 guards, one Rutgers prospect stands far above the rest.
Isaiah Briscoe (no. 1 PG, no. 10 overall) is one of the top seniors in the country. And luckily for Rutgers, Briscoe is an in-state prospect who has maintained interest in the Scarlet Knights. Though he and Sanders play the same position, both are talented enough that Rutgers would not pass on doubling down at the position in 2015
The one question, though, is whether Briscoe would be one of two high-level point guards in the same class, or if he would rather be "the man" in 2015. Most early predictions had Briscoe headed to Arizona until the Wildcats picked up a commitment from guard Allonzo Trier and Briscoe's interest began to fade. Some experts feel that Briscoe may now lose interest in Rutgers as well, and turn his attention to other programs, namely St. John's.
Personally, I don't think this will be the case. If Briscoe's interest in Arizona has faded, you could just as easily attribute that to the distance from home, or the Wildcats' limited scholarships for 2015. Briscoe has plans to visit Piscataway to this season, and appears to really want to give the in-state team a chance here before he decides in the spring. I believe the best chance Rutgers has is to impress Briscoe by performing decently in the Big Ten this season and drawing in solid, if not necessarily elite talent to surround him.
Who else would Jordan add in 2015? That answer doesn't seem as clear. 247Sports lists 9 offers to uncommitted 2015 prospects, but many of those targets are nearing a decision, and don't appear to be seriously considering the Scarlet Knights. It's likely that the remaining members of Rutgers' 2015 haul have yet to be offered, and with plenty of time left in the cycle, that's not a reason to panic just yet.
As time marches on, though, keep an eye on regional prospects such as Sean Lloyd, Aaron Falzon, and Markis McDuffie, as Rutgers could be looking locally for players to offer this fall. Expect Jordan to keep a spot open for Briscoe until the very end, and if he doesn't choose Rutgers, keep an eye out for late offers or maybe an incoming transfer.
Regardless of where things go from here, Rutgers' recruiting picture looks much better than it did just a week ago. With this recruiting momentum, Rutgers has a chance to set a framework for success in the Big Ten in the coming years.