Rutgers lands Omoruyi, best recruit in years, partly due to impact of virus
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Four-star center Cliff Omoruyi has verbally committed to Rutgers, he confirmed to Rivals.com's Corey Evans on Sunday.

The 6-foot-10 big man from Montclair, N.J. is the top high school recruit to join the Scarlett Knights in years. Omoruyi is currently ranked 49th on the 2020 ESPN 100 prospect board, making him the highest-ranked Rutgers recruit since Mike Rosario committed to the program in 2008.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted Omoruyi's decision to stay in New Jersey.

“The big difference was the coronavirus," his guardian, Mohamed Oliver, told Rivals.com. "Once it hit, it kind of gave him a real meaning of what distance really is.

"Once all that stuff started to happen and everyone started to be quarantined, the first thing that was said was what would happen if this thing happened if he was out in Arizona. It all just started to make more sense to him with what he wanted.”

Rutgers is coming off its most successful campaign in decades. The team's 20-11 (.645) record was its best showing since the 1982-83 season. Rutgers also ranked in the top 25 of the AP Poll for the first time since 1978-79, peaking as the nation's 24th-ranked program. Head coach Steve Pikiell earned a two-year extension for his role in the turnaround, ensuring his presence at Rutgers through at least the 2025-26 season.

However, the team's postseason dreams were dashed earlier this month after the cancellation of both the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament because of the ongoing health crisis.

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Rutgers lands Omoruyi, best recruit in years, partly due to impact of virus
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