Wharton Picks Rutgers

Isaiah Wharton

Kissimmee (Fla.) Gateway cornerback Isaiah Wharton made the call to commit to Rutgers at the end of an in-home visit Wednesday with coach Kyle Flood and assistant Jim Panagos. Wharton committed to Rutgers after visiting Indiana, and is set to take a trip to Piscataway, N.J., this weekend.

Kissimmee (Fla.) Gateway cornerback Isaiah Wharton knew Rutgers was the right landing spot shortly after returning from an official visit to Indiana. A Wednesday in-home visit with head coach Kyle Flood sealed the deal, said Gateway coach Marlin Roberts.

"He loves coach Panagos and they seemed to hit it off really good," Roberts said. "The DB's coach, Darrell Wilson, he seems kind of like his position coach at Gateway. He's an old-school type guy. He's a well-respected defensive backs coach, so he liked that.

"He told me the other day when he got back from Indiana that he wants to go to Rutgers. He'll be visiting there this weekend to get everything he needs."

Indiana and Southern Mississippi offered Wharton Tuesday afternoon, but the in-home visit from Flood and Panagos sealed it for Rutgers. The educational opportunities and the chance to play in the Big Ten stood out.

"As far as going to Rutgers, it's a good school," Roberts said. "It's a great academic school and that's what him and his mom wants. The education is first, not just football. Plus [there is] the Big Ten. That's huge, man. As far as what he can bring to the table, he's a lock-down, shut-down corner. By the time this kid is a senior, the sky is the limit for him."

Wharton had primarily FCS interesting going into a senior year that saw his recruitment heat up. A former Weber State commit, Wharton's senior film quickly drew Rutgers into the equation.

Rutgers offered Wharton last week, and is getting value out of the 6-foot, 180-pound corner, Roberts said.

"Isaiah is the definition of a shut-down corner, man," he said. "He's a great cornerback and Rutgers is going to be getting a special football player.

"He had an incredible senior year. He went against Ryan Sousa and he shut him down. Another kid that's a pretty high recruit around hear named Buck Solomon, Isaiah shut him down. He had two picks against Solomon. Not to mention, he's playing both ways the entire year. He never came off the field. He had a great senior year doing everything for us."

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