JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 27, 2017) – ETSU men’s basketball head coach Steve Forbes announced Thursday that the Buccaneers have received a signed national letter of intent from junior college transfer Jeromy Rodriguez (Santiago, Dominican Republic).
Rodriguez, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward, comes to the Bucs from Northwest Florida State College, where he averaged 14.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 60 percent from the field for a team that ranked No. 3 in the country and finished the year with a 29-5 record. Rodriguez was named the Panhandle Conference Player of the Year and is currently ranked as the 16th best junior college player in the country by JucoRecruiting.com.
“Jeromy is one of the top junior college players in the country and one of the top two or three players at his position,” said Forbes, whose team is losing its top three inside players to graduation following a 27-7 season that included Southern Conference regular season and tournament titles, along with the program’s 10th trip to the NCAA Tournament. “Jeromy is a highly skilled offensive player who is a monster on the offensive and defensive glass.
“His skill level allows him to take the ball off the glass and lead the break. He epitomizes the culture we have established at ETSU based upon teamwork and toughness. His motor never stops running and he makes winning plays. He meshed very well with our players on his official visit.”
Playing for head coach Steve DeMeo at Northwest Florida State, Rodriguez helped lead his team to a Panhandle Conference title and a fourth place finish in the NJCAA National Tournament. Following his high school basketball career at Pope John XXIII Regional High School in New Jersey, Rodriguez arrived at Northwest Florida and was a first-team All-Panhandle, first-team All-Region and NJCAA All-Tournament selection this past season. He recorded 15 double-doubles on the year and collecting 23 points and 13 rebounds in a matchup with eventual national champion Hutchinson at the NJCAA Final Four.
“Jeromy has improved more than any player I have ever coached at Northwest Florida,” DeMeo said. “His will to win is matched by his work ethic and positive attitude every single day.”
Rodriguez said ETSU was the right fit for him and he’s excited to get to work.
“I really liked the relationships that the coaching staff has built with the players on the team,” he said. “I felt very comfortable when I came to campus. It was the same feeling I had when I stepped on campus at Northwest Florida. The deciding factor was how I connected with the players, Coach Steve Forbes and the rest of the staff. I am really looking forward to getting started there as soon as possible.”
Rodriguez, who made official visits to Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, New Mexico and Seton Hall before selecting ETSU, joins guard Bo Hodges (Nashville) as part of the Bucs’ 2017-18 recruiting class.