It seems 2015 power forward Jarred Reuter is catching a second wind. This time around, Minnesota has its sails hoisted.
Two years ago, Reuter was a towering 6-8, 200-pound freshman at Tabor Academy being courted by three of the most respected programs in the nation. Florida was after him. So were Indiana and Connecticut. As quickly as Reuter could toss an offensive board through twine, all three had laid down offers for the top-40 prospect to consider.
"People get all excited about these man-child freshmen and that's what he was," Reuter's former coach, Chris Millette told the Star Tribune. "He walked around here [at Tabor, in Massachusetts] and everyone thought he was a faculty member."
But despite a stellar sophomore season that crescendoed with Player of the Year honors in his conference, attention began to taper. Reuter, who is still 6-8, stopped growing and gained a little weight. Success within a Class A league did little to spur the next round of bluebloods. Schools like Boston College and Providence remained steady in their recruitment, but programs were no longer piling on.
Then, before last season, the Massachusetts native made the decision to transfer to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, where he was no longer "the main guy," as Millette put it, but, surrounded by talent, quickly improved his game and upped his exposure.
Now, after his junior season, teams are starting to take notice once more. At an AAU tournament last weekend, Reuter picked up three new offers: from Rhode Island, Cincinnati and Minnesota.
The Gophers have four scholarships available for 2015 and are casting a wide net among recruits.
"I think this past weekend was his re-coming out party," Millette said. "Everyone sort of knew who he was but he fell off everyone's board, and now he's back."
Besides playing on a bigger stage, Millette said Reuter has stepped up his game substantially in the last year. Six a.m. workouts helped to shed all the extra mass he'd been carrying around. The opportunity to bang around in the paint with other talented big men only bolstered Reuter's natural aggressiveness.
"He sort of has the lost art," Millette said. "Bigs these days, they all want to step out and shoot threes. And he's not like that. He's just a bull in a china shop. He gets every rebound and fires it back up ... He's sort of the old school. It doesn't really exist anymore, and that's almost more intriguing to coaches -- a guy that can score with his back to the basket in the post and rebound the basketball."
Minnesota, along with others, have certainly taken notice.