Recruiting Chat with Eddie Jordan

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Before Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan heads to Madison Square Garden for a weekend battle with Manhattan, he sat down with Scarlet Report after practice to discuss his second year as a college recruiter. Jordan signed three during the early signing period with one more targeted addition for the class of 2015.

Sam Hellman -- You’ve signed three guys already, so what’s recruiting been like in your second year?

Eddie Jordan -- I’ve got a great staff No. 1. They understand what it’s about. They have connections. They know people. They do a good job of being relentless. I rely on them a whole lot. I work for them when it comes to recruiting. They tell me what to do, who to call, where to go. Then I do it.

SH -- Have the staff changes you made been a big help in recruiting?

EJ -- It’s just been a really good chemistry, just like you would have on the basketball court together. The office is in a great mood almost every day. We all get along. We all want to help each other get better and we support each other. When you come to work and you’re having fun. All 10 guys in the office are having fun working hard. That’s what you want to do every day.

SH -- Is this harder or more hectic than you thought it would be?

EJ -- No. It’s not harder or hectic. We have a great brand. It’s a terrific school academically. It’s big-time athletics. It’s in a great location. We’ve got a terrific campus. We just haven’t had a winning tradition. Visually, maybe we have to catch up with some other Big Ten programs. The substance is here – the academics, the location, great school, big school, big-time football. Everything is here. We want to get talented, dedicated student athletes. And you’ve got to want to come to Rutgers. The kids who don’t want to come, I think they miss out on something terrific.

SH -- You know Kobe Bryant and guys like Gilbert Arenas. Does that mean anything in recruiting?

EJ -- Only because I can relate to having relationships with them. I’ve worked with [Jason] Kidd, Kobe, Gilbert, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol. Those type of guys, kids understand how I learned and worked with those great pros. I bring that to the table here.

SH -- Gilbert Arenas comes up a lot with recruits.

EJ -- He was terrific. We were terrific together. He carried that team. The Wizards hadn’t been to the playoffs in 25 years. With him playing at his peak level, we went to the second round. Gilbert was special.

SH -- Do facilities come up a lot in recruiting? There’s work to do there.

EJ -- We always say we’ve got a terrific arena when we get good players to pack it in. It’s hard to play in. People say it’s a terrific arena when things are going well. That’s what we want. We want good players to pack it in, pack the RAC as we like to say. Get the joint jumping. That’s what we have to work on, and that’s what we plan to do.

SH -- You have three big kids in this class with Corey Sanders, Kejuan Johnson and Justin Goode. You have room for one more, so what are you looking to get out of that spot?

EJ -- The best player available – we want to get a guy who wants to be here, who has great character, who is willing to be a good student. All of that means a lot to us and to our school. We have a great academic support team. We have a terrific athletic, academic oversight committee. We work hand-in-hand in getting talented, dedicated student athletes. It’s the core of our goals.

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