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Rutgers Basketball Lands Its Biggest Recruit In A Long Time

Rutgers fans celebrate in the crowd during the team's win over Maryland.

PISCATAWAY, NJ - MARCH 03: Rutgers Scarlet Knights fans cheer during the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Rutgers Athletic Center on March 3, 2020 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)

Rutgers basketball just picked up its highest-rated commitment since 2008. Local four-star center Cliff Omoruyi is a Scarlet Knight.

Omoruyi, who played for powerhouse Roselle (N.J.) Catholic, is the 41st-overall recruit in the 2020 class, according to 247Sports' Composite Rankings. That's the highest ranking for an RU commit since guard Mike Rosario (No. 32 overall) chose the Scarlet Knights 12 years ago.

The 6-foot-10 Omoruyi chose Rutgers over Auburn and Arizona State. The Sun Devils long looked like the favorite for Omoruyi, who now joins a Rutgers recruiting class that also includes three-star prospects Mawot Mag, Dean Reiber and Oskar Palmquist.

This season, Omoruyi averaged 14.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 5.6 blocks per game. He was recently named New Jersey's Gatorade Player of the Year

Under the direction of head coach Steve Pikiell, Rutgers underwent a surprising renaissance this season. The long-suffering Scarlet Knights finished the regular season 20-11, with an 11-9 record in Big Ten play.

It was the program's first winning season in 14 years, and the first time Rutgers won 20 regular season games since 1982-83. The Scarlet Knights appeared set to end the program's 29-year NCAA Tournament drought until coronavirus shut down the season.

With Omoruyi in the fold and seven of this season's top-eight scorers set to return, Rutgers will be expected to dance in March 2021.