SI All-American Nominee Cliff Omoruyi Commits to Rutgers

Jason Jordan

Last season Rutgers finished No. 4 in the Big Ten in blocked shots and No. 3 in scoring defense; while those standings are strong, they likely will get a bump next season after Roselle (N.J.) Catholic center Cliff Omoruyi picked the Scarlet Knights over Arizona State and Auburn on Sunday.

“It was the familiarity with the coaching staff, the team and the athletic director,” Omoruyi told SI All-American. “And the fans showed the most love.”

The SI All-American nominee was a mainstay at Rutgers home games this season, and fans were often eager to let him know that they wanted him to suit up for the Scarlet Knights, even belting out a thunderous “we want Cliff” chant during their matchup with Indiana on Jan. 15.

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Omoruyi said proximity to home “wasn’t much” of a factor in his decision, “but seeing this coronavirus and things happening, being close to home is the best idea.”

This season, Omoruyi led Roselle Catholic to the North Jersey, Non-Public B championship, averaging 14.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 5.4 blocks. Roselle Catholic finished 21-7 overall.

Last summer he pumped in 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks a game while running with the New York Lightning in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.

The 6-foot-11 center is one of the most productive two-way bigs in the country. He’s got great size, has an unreal motor and is a skilled finisher and shot blocker. Omoruyi will be an instant impact player for the Scarlet Knights on both ends of the floor, but, particularly defensively, he will change their entire look as one of the best rim protector/shot blockers in the country.

“I feel like I will fit perfectly into their style of play,” Omoruyi said. “Now, I get to focus on what’s ahead.”

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