Jermaine Samuels, a high-flying wing that competes with a chip on his shoulder the size of the state of Rhode Island, called it a day with his college recruitment on Saturday. After visiting the Big East program earlier in the week for an official visit, Villanova nabbed its next star small forward with the Expressions Elite product.
A relatively well-known name as Samuels has played up on the Nike EYBL circuit for the past three years, the top-50 recruit grew into his own this past spring and summer. An explosive athlete at the basket that brings a giant nose for the ball in rebounding the basketball from out of his area and also protecting his goal, there is loads of versatility, upside, and production with Jermaine Samuels.
A 6-foot-5 wing sporting a 6-foot-9 wingspan, Samuels is a guy that can play a similar role to a current star for the squad. “They would use me just like Josh Hart,” Samuels stated. The New England native does have some shades to the star of last year’s March Madness where he is a high level rebounder averaging over six rebounds during EYBL play this past summer, while also defending different spots on the playing floor.
After receiving an offer from Duke following his visit to Villanova this week, many believed that the Blue Devils would immediately jump into the driver’s seat for the number-31 ranked prospect in America. However, the lure to join Villanova remained too strong for Samuels. “It felt like it was just more than basketball,” the Expressions star stated. “It just felt like home, honestly.”
Samuels seems to be the ideal 3-man for the Wildcats and in some line-ups where Jay Wright has been known to throw out smaller bunches onto the floor, even play some small-ball power forward. Due to his toughness, length, and instincts, the top-50 wing plays much bigger than his size and because of his grit, could lend a helping hand immediately for the defending champs.
The second commitment in the 2017 class, Samuels joins energy giving and top-125 center Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, while they remain heavy in pursuit for the likes of top-100 prospects Quade Green, Lonnie Walker, Justin Smith and Darryl Morsell.