11/03/2010 6:11 PM ET
Kadeem Jack to enroll early at Rutgers
Former Rice standout will redshirt in January
By Adam Zagoria / SNY.tv
Highly-recruited Kadeem Jack will get a head start on practicing with the Scarlet Knights. (AP)

The long and winding career of Kadeem Jack has taken another turn.

Having left the South Kent (Conn.) school, the 6-foot-10, 220-pound Jack will prep at Central Jersey Each One Teach One (CJEOTO) for about two months and then enroll as a redshirt at Rutgers in January.

He plans to practice and train with the Rutgers team during the second semester before suiting up officially in the fall of 2011.

"I think it will give me more time to take over a real position [at Rutgers]," Jack, a native of Trinidad & Tobago, said by phone. "It will give me time to prepare for what we're trying to do next season."

Jack is part of a seven-member recruiting class for head coach Mike Rice that is ranked in the Top 10 nationally.

Of his departure from South Kent, Jack conceded that he made some "missteps" during his tenure there.

"I had a couple missteps at South Kent," he said. "It was just [that] I graduated and everything. I qualified. It was kind of tough for me doing all the things that I was having -- five classes, all the extra extra homework. I was kind of taking off a little bit.

"I felt like I should go to Rutgers in January and spoke with [South Kent] Coach [Kelvin Jefferson]. We decided I could leave and this gives them an opportunity to bring in another player."

Jack could have landed at a variety of schools, but chose CJEOTO, a basketball academy in Somerset, N.J., that plays a prep schedule. Students there do not take classes.

"It was a lot of schools that I was going to go to but I just felt like that for the two months that I was going to be there it's a good fit," Jack said.

Head coach Ian Turnbull said Jack would go up against other big bodies in practice that will prepare him for the Big East.

CJEOTO features 6-8, 240-pound Eugene McCrory, 6-8, 240-pound San Jose State commit Stephon Smith and 6-8, 215-pound Omar Richards.

"We're going to work with him on ball-handling and shooting," Turnbull said. "We have some physical kids with us and that will help him. Big, strong bodies that he's going to work against every day."

Turnbull said Jack would play about 20 or so games with the team between now and Christmas before departing for Rutgers Jan. 15. Jack can join the CJEOTO team on Friday when they meet U.S. Military Academy Prep in Fort Monmouth, N.J.

Jack had offers to play at Rutgers, Arizona, Miami and West Virginia in the fall of 2010, but felt he needed a year of prep to prepare.

Ironically, he's now out of his first prep school and set to enroll early in college.

Asked what he had learned, he said: "It was a learning experience in and of itself. I know I learned so many things just being out there on my own. It definitely did prepare me, not in the way I thought it would but it prepared me for everything that I'm going to go through."

Adam Zagoria is a regular contributor to SNY.tv. Read his blog at ZagsBlog.com and follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AdamZagoria.
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