Exclusive interview: 2016 commit, De’Riante Jenkins [INSIDER]

De'Riante Jenkins becomes VCU's third highest rated recruit ever and Will Wade's first top-100 signing as VCU head coach.
De’Riante Jenkins becomes VCU’s third highest rated recruit ever and Will Wade’s first top-100 signing as VCU head coach.

Will Wade has had an impressive start to his coaching career. At just 31 years of age he has assisted on a Final 4 team, he was the first hire of both Harvard’s Tommy Amaker and former Rams’ coach, Shaka Smart, he was the 2014 SoCon Coach of the Year and now as VCU’s new head coach he’s landed his highest rated recruit ever, ESPN No.59 player in the 2016 class (VCU’s third-highest recruited player ever), De’Riante Jenkins.

We got a chance to get a quick interview with Jenkins recently. This is what he had to tell us.

Q: Why VCU? What sealed the deal for you and made you a Ram?

A: The relationship I had with coach wade pretty much sealed the deal. Not only did he text with me, he would text with my mom often and sometimes exchange emails with my granddad. The playing style also stood out a lot, the way that he wants the team to get up and down and press all game fits my game a lot.

Q: What’s your relationship with Will Wade been like and when did he first pop up on your radar?

A: He started recruiting me in July but he made it known that he was making me a priority and since then i don’t think there’s been a day that we haven’t spoken to each other. Half the time we don’t speak of basketball just bout my personal life, and he makes sure he texts me after every practice to see how I’m doing and how i practice.

Q: Going on an official visit you’ve obviously had a chance to meet the team. Can you tell us anything about your relationship with those guys and if you bonded with any particular player early on during your visit?

A: My official visit was good. Everytime it was time to eat a couple of the players were there. When i committed Johnny and Justin both texted me congratulating me. I spoke with Samir and Korey, both of them being new to the team they were telling me why they chose VCU and how much coach cared for them.

Q: We got a chance to tour VCU’s new practice facility and were completely blown away and the place wasn’t even finished when we saw it. How excited are you about making that your home during your college years and how much of a help was that in landing you to VCU?

A: My granddad and I got a chance to tour it and it’s going to be crazy with everything they have in there. Back home in SC i never had a gym i could go to anytime i want and a practice facility that nice. I know I’ll fall in love with it.

Q: What do you think your strengths are as a player and is there any player, college or pro, you model your game after or who you think plays a somewhat similar style to you?

A: How unselfish i am as a player, I’m very versatile at 6’6, I can play positions 1-3 and my motor. Im not sure who i can compare my game to.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite on-court experience from either your high school days or perhaps even earlier than that?

A: LOL, I’m not sure, I’ve had a lot of good times on the basketball court, but ill say winning the state championship twice. That was crazy.

Q: Who would be your all-time NBA starting five?

A: Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Scottie Pippen, Kevin Garnett and Shaquille O’Neal

Q: What would you like to study at VCU?

A: Not sure as of now.

Q: How about off the court, what do you like to do in your down time?

A: Be on social media and listen to music.

Q: What’s on your pre-game playlist?

A: I really just put it on shuffle haha, but i like to listen to Drake, Future and Young Thug the most.

Q: What’s something about you that would surprise people?

A: I just like to smile and laugh a lot thats it. I’m pretty laid-back.

Q: What has you the most excited about your college basketball experience at VCU?

A: Playing for Coach Wade and getting to play in front Ram Nation.

A two-time graduate of VCU (School of the Arts '07, Center for Sport Leadership '10), Mat is a co-founder of VCU Ram Nation and a longtime fan as the ...