Rutgers gets commitment from four-star center Cliff Omoruyi, the program’s highest rated commit since 2008

Rutgers basketball reeled in its highest-rated recruit in more than a decade on Sunday as four-star New Jersey prospect Cliff Omoruyi, a 6-foot-10 center, committed to the Scarlet Knights over Arizona State and Auburn.

Omoruyi rates just behind Rutgers’ all-time highest-rated recruit, 2008 signee Mike Rosario, and just ahead of 2007 four-star signee Corey Chandler, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. His pledge gives Rutgers a real lift in the recruiting realm and on-the-rise coach Steve Pikiell some added juice in the region.

“The reason I picked [Rutgers] is because I’m familiar with the coaching staff and the athletic director since my freshman year,” Omoruyi told 247Sports. “I’m familiar with all the players up to the last one on the bench and academic wise I picked them because I can take summer classes and still be close to home.”

Pikiell’s been red-hot over the last year in turning Rutgers around from a losing record to an NCAA Tournament-caliber team. Had the college basketball season not ended due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Scarlet Knights likely would have punched a ticket to the Big Dance for the first time since 1991.

That turnaround should continue on in 2020 and 2021, too, with seven of the team’s top eight scorers from last season eligible to return next season. Add a 6-foot-10 blue-chipper to the mix in Omoruyi, and Rutgers may be a real threat in the Big Ten next season.

Omoruyi is the fourth signee for the Scarlet Knights in the 2020 class and the best of the bunch of forwards that includes Mawot Mag, Dean Reiber and Oskar Palmquist. The class ranks sixth in the Big Ten rankings in the 247Sports Composite and 31st nationally.

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