Wharton Feeling Love from Rutgers

Rutgers welcomed Kissimme (Fla.) Gateway cornerback Isaiah Wharton to its recruiting class less than one week ago, and remains in constant contact. Since his commitment and official visit, Wharton has been "feeling the love" from the Rutgers community.

Kissimme (Fla.) Gateway cornerback Isaiah Wharton received nothing but love in the week following his Rutgers verbal commitment. Where some prospects hear less from coaches after making a decision, Wharton remains in constant contact.

Wharton hosted head coach Kyle Flood and assistant Jim Panagos last week, and had Panagos back in to see him after a weekend official visit.

"Coach Panagos has been here every single week recruiting me hard," Wharton said. "He's been stopping by the school, coming to my house. That means a lot. Most people, once you commit, they kind of leave you alone. But they've been contacting me a lot. They've been supporting me a lot. It's been really good."

Wharton is one of three cornerback commitments to Rutgers, and understands the importance of the position with the Rutgers move to the Big Ten.

"When coach Flood was in my house and he committed, he told me ‘Rutgers got better tonight,'" Wharton said. "That meant a lot."

Wharton watched Rutgers casually as a senior, but did not begin looking in-depth at the program until later in the process.

For a program that started five different freshmen at cornerback in 2013, Wharton sees opportunities.

"Midway through the season, they had to put a receiver (Ruhann Peele) at corner, so they definitely need depth at the corner position," Wharton said. "I feel like I can come in and compete for a job early."

Wharton comes from the talent-rich Sunshine State, which means matchups against some of the top prospects in the nation. Wharton faced off against names like Ermon Lane on the 7-on-7 circuit.

As a senior Wharton competed head-to-head with Florida State commit Ryan Sousa and local big-name Buck Solomon.

"It's helped me tremendously," he said. "Those are the big games that every corner lives for. They're really good receivers. They really put a chip on my shoulders. I know that if I can be successful against recruits for Florida and Florida State, then I'm ready for the Big Ten."

Wharton picked Rutgers over Indiana, Southern Miss and other schools that came in with offers after the Scarlet Knights. He remains eager for Signing Day and hopes to follow in the footsteps of Florida athletes like Jeremy Deering, Kaleb Johnson and Janarion Grant when it comes to a freshman impact.

"I'm ready (for Signing Day)," Wharton said. "It's funny because this whole year has gone by so fast, and now that it's close to Signing Day, everything is so slow. … I'm coming in to compete for a Big Ten Championship. That's our goal."

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