Rondae Jefferson wouldn’t let the Arizona coaching staff leave his home without a firm verbal commitment.
The prized small forward in the 2013 class orally pledged to Sean Miller on Thursday after Miller and his staff visited his residence for an in-home visit. Jefferson, the No. 23 overall prospect according to our FanSided150 rankings, chose the Wildcats over a host of schools, notably Syracuse and Temple.
As Busting Brackets reported in July, Arizona and Syracuse were heading the pack in the race for the Philadelphia-area standout. While it looked then that Jefferson could be Big East bound, Miller and his staff began distancing the Wildcats from the other contenders. Arizona scored an official visit from Jefferson and his mother last weekend, and closed the door just days later when the Wildcats returned the favor and visited the prized recruit.
A 6-foot-7 wing with a knack for getting to the rim, Jefferson is an exceptional rebounder with supreme athleticism. His strong ball-handling skills and ability to create off the bounce lends credence to the possibility that Jefferson could run the point at the college level.
Jefferson lacks a knockdown jumper to complement his superlative athleticism, and this chink in his offensive repertoire is one of the bigger weaknesses of any elite recruit in the class. But outside shooting, like the power tool in baseball, often develops over time with consistent practice. The physical tools are there. Next up for the Chester HS star is refinement on specific basketball skills.
Already Arizona’s third commitment in the 2013 class, the hotly pursued Jefferson is by far the biggest catch of the bunch. He joins fellow Wildcat pledges Elliot Pitts (SG) and Eric Cooper (PG).
With the addition of Jefferson to the 2013 class, Miller is working to strike big on his third consecutive recruiting haul. His 2012 bunch, headlined by the front court trio of Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski and Grant Jerrett, is one of the highest touted freshman classes in the country.
The 2013 class won’t be as special, but with Jefferson now on board, Zona is trending toward another stellar crop on the recruiting trail. Sean Miller just waltzed into the heartland of Big East country—the area that Syracuse has manipulated into a feeder program over the years and where Jefferson’s brother, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, currently plays for Temple—and came away with the prize.
He’s only been in Tucson for a few years, but Sean Miller is already earning his stripes.