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September 13, 2012
The Arizona basketball staff made a few recruits priorities when it came to who they would watch the most during the July evaluation period. One of those prospects was five-star wing Rondae Jefferson. The Chester, Pa., native made the trip to Tucson twice over the course of the last few weeks and after having an in-home visit with Sean Miller's staff Thursday, Jefferson gave the 'Cats his verbal commitment.
It was that prioritizing of Jefferson that his travel coach with Team Final, Robert Brown, really thinks paid off for the 'Cats.
"Well coach Book (Emanuel Richardson) really made him a priority through the spring time and during the summer time coach Miller made him a priority," Brown told GOAZCATS.com. "Everywhere we went coach was there, and it really convinced him how much love they had for Rondae and how much they wanted him in the program."
Jefferson joins three-star guard Elliott Pitts as Miller's second pledge of the 2013 class and his fourth five-star recruit in the program's last two classes. The 6-foot-7 prospect had been considering a handful of schools, which included Rutgers, Florida and Temple, prior to his commitment.
The talented wing prospect had originally planned to announce his decision on his birthday Jan. 3 of next year, however after taking his two visits to UA and having the in-home visit with the program's staff the timing was right to make a decision prior to the early signing period.
Jefferson could fill one of the voids on the wing left by current seniors Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom after this season. The 2013 prospect, who played his travel ball with Team Final this summer, ranks fifth among the nation's top small forwards - according to Rivals.com
"That played a big part," Brown said about Jefferson filling a void next year. "Rondae doesn't like to sit and watch games. He likes to play games and win, he doesn't want to sit and wait his turn. He wants to help his team in a positive way."
As a player Jefferson has an all-around game that can be utilized by UA. He's a hard worker on defense and really has a nice ability to make his teammates better.
Jefferson's commitment helps continue the impressive recruiting effort Miller and his staff have built on - which paid off last year when the Wildcats ended up with the nation's third-ranked class overall according to Rivals.com.
Despite landing the five-star commit, UA might not be done as there are other targets still in their sights. One thing is certain, however, the Wildcats had a plan to really go after wing recruits in 2013 and so far that plan has already started to pay off.
Jefferson took an unofficial visit to UA prior to the Elite 24 event in Venice Beach, Calif., Aug. 21 and he returned for an official visit last weekend when the Wildcats' football team defeated Oklahoma State. UA assistant Emanuel "Book" Richardson led Jefferson's recruitment for the Wildcats' staff.