Four-star Hart Cuts to Three, Plans Decision

Josh Hart

Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.) forward Josh Hart is down to his final three schools and will make a decision soon. With two Big East schools and one Big Ten program still in the picture, Hart broke down his final three and decision plans after returning home from his final unofficial visit.

Rutgers, Villanova and Penn State are the final three schools for four-star power forward Josh Hart of Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.). Hart eliminated Xavier and Miami after a weekend unofficial visit to the later.

Hart, who holds more than a dozen verbal offers, will make his decision public Wed. Oct. 10.

"I'm going to come to a decision no later than Sunday or Monday and then kind of release it to the public on Wednesday," Hart said. "I really don't have a decision yet. It's kind of up in the air right now. I think I'll kind of know this weekend. I'm going to talk to my parents, my high school coaches and some other people. Over that time, I think it will kind of become clear."

Hart officially visited all five schools since the summer and took in football games at both Rutgers and Penn State.

"They all have a good student support and that's a big thing I'm looking for," Hart said. "Those are the three where I could see myself playing the most."

Rutgers and head coach Mike Rice hosted Hart in early September during the home opener for the football team against Howard. While on campus, Hart watched the football game, met with the players, received a tour of the school and sat in on a journalism class.

Looking for a future in sports journalism, Hart left Piscataway impressed with his visit.

"They're great there because of coach Rice," Hart said. "He's like my AAU coach, coach [Keith] Stevens. He has that passion for the game. He's going to go after you, but he's doing it for the best reasons. He's going to make you a better player, but most importantly a better person. He'll always be in your corner no matter what. He'll be really critical of you and then, five minutes later, he'll talk to you like he's your dad. That has a big impact."

Penn State, Hart said, was in the most consistent contact with him since he became a college prospect and the loyalty shown by the Nittany Lions stands out.

"I love the coaching staff, especially because of how long I've known them," Hart said. "They're high character. The players do a good job and that's kind of why they'd be in my top three."

Villanova's integrity and reputation as a Big East power stands out to Hart, who said he is a big fan of head coach Jay Wright. Hart is close friends with Villanova commit Kris Jenkins of Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), who also plays power forward.

"It's like Penn State with the staff," Hart said. "The big thing is that they've never negatively recruited. They always do it the right way, which is a huge thing for me. There's a lot of high character there. I talk to players on the team a lot and also the academics there are great."

Hart's top factors for a school are comfort level, fan support and education. Playing time, he said, is something that he expects to earn wherever he goes.

"I don't want to look cocky or anything like that, but I think because of my work ethic, I think I'll be able to play significant minutes wherever I go," Hart said. "That's my confidence level right now. Wherever I go, I'm coming to compete."

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