Villanova It Is
Rivers School and Expressions Elite swingman Jermaine Samuels made a verbal commitment to Villanova on Saturday, announcing his decision via his twitter account:
I want to thank God, my family & Coach Todd of X for helping me get to where I'm at now. I'm officially a Wildcat⚪️ pic.twitter.com/ddsxSfxUZS
— Jermaine Samuels Jr. (@J_Swizz23) August 27, 2016
Samuels' decision, or at least the timing of it, came as a surprise to many given that he had just announced a Duke offer and subsequent final five not even 48 hours earlier, after the conclusion of his official visit to Villanova. Nevertheless, the decision appears to be both a very good fit for Samuels as well as an important addition for Villanova.
Samuels is just the type of highly competitive and versatile wing that Villanova has thrived with over the years and even has many similarities to current Wildcat Josh Hart. Jay Wright isn't just a coach who values what Samuels brings to the table, he's also a coach who can help him develop the areas of his game that are still evolving, namely his guard skills, just as he did for Hart.
The 46th ranked player in the ESPN 100, Samuels is coming off a highly impressive EYBL season in which his toughness, motor and work ethic were on full display. There were plenty of times when he wasn't the offensive focal point or leading scorer for Expressions, but he always appeared to be the emotional leader and have a relentless work-ethic and consequent ability to impact the game in numerous ways.
Below are some of his highlights from this July's EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam care of Krossover Custom Highlights on YouTube: