McDuffie Recaps Rutgers Weekend Visit

Rising junior Markis McDuffie has the potential to be one of the next big names out of Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony's on the basketball court. McDuffie took his first visit as a college recruit Saturday to Rutgers and left excited about the program.

Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony's 2015 forward Markis McDuffie knows plenty about Rutgers, but was surprised by the familiarity the coaching staff had with him Saturday on an unofficial visit.

McDuffie comes from the same program as star Rutgers guard Myles Mack – and former Scarlet Knights Eli Carter and Mike Rosario. Taking his first visit as a recruit, McDuffie hit it off quickly with head coach Eddie Jordan.

"It was really exciting," he said. "When I came in, the staff knew me already. I thought it was just going to be me introduced, but they knew my name. I guess I'm out there. It was great."

McDuffie had never been on a college recruiting visit prior to Saturday at Rutgers. He became a name on the rise with a strong summer on the court and will also suit up with the AAU squad Sports U, Team Izod.

"I think it was a great experience," he said. "It was my first college visit. I haven't been visiting colleges. That was my first one. I really enjoyed it. They have a great practice facility. All of the money put into rebuilding the whole campus was really amazing. I've never seen anything like it."

McDuffie participated in multiple summer events, including the Reebok Breakout Classic in Philadelphia. McDuffie checks in at 6-foot-7, 180 pounds at the start of his junior year, but projects to grow another three inches before college.

"[Jordan] likes how I am as a person and he saw that I had a great summer," McDuffie said. "I think he likes my game a lot, and he thinks I'm going to get taller. He projected to be about 6-foot-10, which everybody projects me to be. He thinks I can have a bright future with them."

McDuffie watched a Rutgers workout on his visit, where he kept a close eye on Mack.

"The practice was very tough. I learned a lot actually," he said. "Eddie Jordan, he's a great coach. They have a chance to have a great year and they play in a tough conference. It's hard work.

"I just said what's up to [Mack]. We didn't talk a whole lot on Saturday, but I was mostly watching him at practice. He was the only one I really knew, so I enjoyed watching him lead them."

The McDuffie and Mack families have a relationship dating back years and remain close, he said.

"I know him pretty well," McDuffie said. "I'm very cool with his parents. His dad and my dad are friends since he was young with playing baseball and stuff. I'm close to his parents and he's a great players. I respect his game a lot."

McDuffie was one of a dozen basketball recruits on hand Saturday afternoon at High Point Solutions Stadium. He had a good view of the action when the Rutgers football team came back to beat Arkansas 28-24 in front of more than 51,000 fans.

"I was able to stay for the first half and it turned out to be a great game," he said. "There were a lot of fans. The stadium was amazing. I was standing on the sidelines when they entered the stadium. They had their nice black jerseys on. It was really nice. I was amazed."

Rutgers has not verbally offered McDuffie, he said, but told him Jordan and staff will be watching closely during his junior year. McDuffie is also hearing from Seton Hall, Wake Forest, Robert Morris, Quinnipiac, Cincinnati and Boston College.

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