NJ Forward Chooses A School

A New Jersey forward has decided to make a decision now and play college basketball next season ...

Vermont scored a key late commitment out of the class of 2006 this weekend when 6-foot-5 Marqus Blakely from Metuchen High School in Metuchen, New Jersey, pledged to the America East program while on an official visit to the school.

Billed as an athletic and versatile small forward who can knock down the three, slash, and impact a game on both ends of the floor, Blakely had caught the eye of the Vermont coaches at the Charlie Weber Tournament in Washington, D.C., the weekend of April 14th, playing with the Jersey Shore Cyclones.

"I just got back from the visit," said Blakely on Sunday afternoon. "The campus is really nice, everything about it is nice. The coaches are real down to earth; they can relate to you. They're young, but they know what they're doing, basketball-wise."

Blakely was also impressed by the school's academic offerings.

"They call it a public Ivy," said Blakely. "It's a really good academic school."

Marqus also seriously considered Fairleigh Dickinson, who recruited him vigorously. Other schools that had shown interest this spring included Hartford, Central Connecticut, Boston University, St. Peter's, Monmouth, Eastern Kentucky, and UMKC. West Virginia, Rhode Island, and Penn State were interested had he considered a prep year.

Blakely ostensibly fills a need for Vermont with his athleticism.

"They said that they really didn't have an athletic wing because they lost a lot of players to graduation," said Blakely. "They said that I'd be more of a three for them. When I was up there, they were joking around, saying that now they could add an alley-oop play."

Marqus averaged 19.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 4.6 blocks as a senior. As a testament to his ability to stuff a stat sheet, Blakely notched a quintuple-double in a game against rival Highland Park during his senior season.

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