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Can Rutgers land the top New Jersey recruit in 2025?



Manasquan s Darius Adams. NJSIAA state tournament group 2 semifinal: Middle Township vs. Manasquan Berkeley Township, NJThursday, March 2, 2023. Photo credit Doug Hood / USA TODAY NETWORK

Midnight on Wednesday night/Thursday morning marked the first time college basketball coaches could speak with recruits from the class of 2025. Even though offers could previously be extended and interest expressed, it was the first chance for coaches to make direct contact with recruits in the upcoming cycle. It should be no surprise that Rutgers wasted no time in reaching out to the top recruit in New Jersey, Darius Adams.

The Manasquan native has been a priority for Rutgers for a long time already. Steve Pikiell offered Adams last September before his sophomore season even began. He is a high 4-star recruit who is very close rating wise that he could become a 5-star before his high school career is complete. 247 Sports composite rankings list Adams as the No. 4 combo guard in the country and No. 23 recruit overall.

The 6’4″, prospect should only get better as he grows into his body. He needs to add muscle and get stronger. However, Adams plays within himself and under control at a young age. He has deep range with good form and a repeatable shooting motion.

Pikiell has spoken in the past about preferring recruits who know how to play the game. Adams checks that box in a big way. He is a fluid player who displays a natural feel and instincts for the game. Adams also has good vision and a strong decision maker with the ball in his hands. He can score in multiple ways, but also is a willing facilitator who could become elite in this area as he develops.

Adams will be a name to watch during the July live period when he’s in action on the EYBL circuit with the PSA Cardinals. He already holds offers from St. John’s, Syracuse, Providence, Seton Hall, Florida State, Penn State, and others aside from Rutgers. That list is likely to grow in the weeks and months to come. However, expect RU to be a major player in his recruitment throughout.

An interesting aspect of his recruitment is that Darius’ sister, Destiny Adams, a former McDonald’s All-American, just transferred into the Rutgers women’s basketball program. She is expected to be a major piece for head coach Coquese Washington moving forward. Expect her brother to make several trips on campus over the next year, for both her games and his own recruitment. For what it’s worth and don’t take it as gospel, but Darius previously indicated on social media that he would go to the same school that Destiny chose to transfer to.

Even so, the competition to land Adams is already fierce. The below tweet lists all the schools who contacted Adams on Thursday.


His stock is likely only going up after a strong summer so far. He recently was named a standout performer at the Nike Elite 100 camp. He was named a third team selection at the Pangos All-American camp. Adams averaged 14.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He spoke about his development and recruitment at the camp recently here.

I’m not sure the last time Rutgers landed the top recruit in New Jersey but it’s been decades. Even when RU has landed top 50-75 national recruits from the state like Cliff Omoruyi, Myles Mack, Mike Rosario and even Dahntay Jones, they were ranked in the top five of their respective classes in the Garden State.

It’s possible Rutgers could end the drought soon with Dylan Harper in the 2024 class. 247 Sports not only lists the combo guard as No. 1 in New Jersey, but No. 1 in the entire 2024 class. It would be the biggest recruiting win in the history of Rutgers basketball if it happens.

Landing Adams, whether he comes to Rutgers after Harper or he ends the drought himself, would be a coup in its own right. He’s an elite talent who still has room to grow physically. There should be hope rooted in reality that Pikiell and the staff can ultimately convince Adams to become a Scarlet Knight. It will be a long recruiting battle for Adams, but Rutgers is firmly in the trenches of his recruitment.

Watch Adams in action from last week at the Pangos All-American camp in two videos below. In the first, he show/ off his range and step back jumper, a sight Rutgers fans will surely love. The second also shows his ability to get to the rim and score on contact.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. BataliBoli98

    June 17, 2023 at 9:12 am

    It’s not that long ago that this headline alone would elicit reactions of, “No chance.” It really is incredible how the perception of the program has changed so much in a relatively short period of time. This is just another example. Why not RU?

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