6’6″ swingman Jarelle Reischel from Point Pleasant Beach HS announced his college destination last night at a press conference at his school. It recapped quite an abnormal recruitment process for any PSU prospect (at least, basketball-wise) in a long time. He played his recruiting process close to the vest, but at the beginning of the fall, it was noted he was down to 5 schools – Georgetown, Penn State, Temple, Seton Hall, and Rice. As far as I know, he only ended up visiting PSU, SHU, and Rice officially. Temple was mentioned a lot, but I don’t know how mutual the interest was and it seemed like Reischel just wasn’t feeling them. If I had to guess, probably because of the city-like campus, because that was quoted as being a critical aspect of his decision. Georgetown seemed to fall off his radar after they picked up a commitment from 6’5″ Jabril Trawick, so it could be the Hoyas stopped recruiting him.
His 3 finalists were SHU, PSU, and Rice. He visited Penn State the weekend of Halloween, during the UM football game. For a guy who hammered home how big of a factor campus life was, he could not have visited on a better weekend. From all accounts, it seemed like Reischel was blown away by his visit (which was the last of his 3). Penn State seemed to be the leader.
The next 2 weeks were kinda quiet. Some thought Reischel would’ve been a Nittany Lion by then, but it clearly seemed like Reischel didn’t know what he wanted. All he knew was that he was going to make a decision before his senior year. Then, the announcement was set for the 17th (the last day of the signing period) at 6:45 ET at his high school.
When yesterday came, despite all kinds of rumors about how high he was on Penn State, it became clearer and clearer that no one had a freakin clue what this guy was thinking. I usually like to creep hard on twitter for recruiting news because it’s just the best way to find out info. Local news guys, national recruiting gurus, coaches, fans of other teams, they all tweet about recruiting. So here’s the twitter recap of yesterday:
- 11:00 am – Joseph Duarte, a Rice beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, hints that Rice is Reischel’s destination. I didn’t really know what to think of this, because I couldn’t find anything that would tip this guy off. Maybe he had his sources, but what would a Houston reporter know about a NJ recruit? Then I found it. This tweet from Dylan Ennis, a fellow Rice commit, already broke the news.
- 2:30 pm – Then sources from Seton Hall claim that Reischel would be committing to Penn State that night. This came from Piratecrew.com – Seton Hall’s Rivals affiliation. They have had sources close to Reischel’s situation all along, so it certainly seemed legit.
- 5:00 pm – The Seton Hall rumors that he was going to PSU began to spread like wildfire across twitter, including from myself. I tweeted against my better judgment because I suspected something fishy was going on all along, especially when established recruitniks TheRecruitScoop and Adam Zagoria basically admitted that they had no clue.
- 6:45 pm - The decision came and Adam Zagoria broke the news that Reischel was going to sign with Rice. That was a shock for a lot of people on the ‘net, and there was a lot of backlash and backtracking. But apparently the real story is this – No one misreported anything, the kid just wouldn’t make up his mind. He was going to sign with Rice last night, then changed his mind and told the SHU coaches he was going to Penn State after alerting them he wasn’t going to SHU, but in the end, he switched back to making his commitment to Rice. That was the cause for all the confusion.
Now that Reischel has finally made his decision I can express my feelings – I didn’t want him. The staff thought he was worthy of a scholarship and he was certainly being courted by other big programs, but I just felt like with PSU’s situation, they should have high standards for this last scholarship. Reischel, I’m sure, is a talented baller and I hope he has a great career at Rice. But I wanted PSU to either get a bonafide recruit, which is unlikely, or bank it for the 2012 class. I didn’t want a guy who still seems unsure of his decision taking a scholarship away from this program. He reminded me of Bill Edwards, who didn’t make his decision until one of the last few days of the spring signing period. I don’t think Bill was ever sure he knew where he wanted to go and picked PSU. Then, lo and behold, it didn’t seem like it was the place for him and he transferred back home.
With or without Reischel, Penn State next year is going to be young (already 10 underclassmen) and they aren’t going to be very good. However, they have a nice balanced roster right now, with options at every position. I would rather have 2 scholarships going into the 2012 class than just 1. First reason would be to try to even out the classes a little bit and two, there are a lot of quality recruits in PA next year. You gotta recruit studs to compete. Maybe the staff considered Reischel a stud, but unless he would’ve been able to come in and have the talent to start (which, who knows, he might’ve), I’m content for now with the 2011 class.