Brett Rumpel

Brett Rumpel appears in a game during his junior season of 2019-20 at Seton Catholic Central in Binghamton. Rumpel, a high-scoring 6-foot-4 guard, made a verbal pledge on Thursday to continue his career at St. Bonaventure.

ST. BONAVENTURE — It opened the spring recruiting season with a splash.

On March 27, the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team received a verbal commitment from Wake Forest transfer Quadry Adams, a former three-star recruit and standout at St. Thomas Aquinas in New Jersey. And that wound up merely being the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.

In the four months since, Bona has landed a second ACC transfer (Karim Coulibaly), a junior college big man with previous high-major offers (Oluwasegun Durosinmi), a juco All-American (Linton Brown), a 6-foot-8 forward dripping with potential (Dutchman Anouar Mellouk) and a second Netherlands native who also was being courted by power conference programs (Joryam Saizonou).

It was only fitting, then, that Bona polished off its 2021 recruiting class with as big a pledge as any that have come before it.

Brett Rumpel, coveted by the fanbase from the beginning of the recruiting period, made for one more landed target, verbally committing to St. Bonaventure in an Instagram post late Thursday night.

THE 6-FOOT-4, 185-pound shooting guard, who starred at Seton Catholic in nearby Binghamton, was another highly sought-after prospect, holding offers from, among others, Binghamton, Fordham, George Washington and DePaul, according to verbalcommits.com, while recently generating interest from a host of Power 5 programs, including Florida and Virginia Tech. In the end, however, as with Adams, Coulibaly, Brown and Mellouk, he chose to be part of what has become one of the truly special eras in program history.

And he not only chose Bona, but he expedited his arrival (while eliminating the prospect of further high-major offers with another year of development), choosing to forgo a planned post-graduate year at SPIRE Institute in Ohio to reclassify to the Class of 2021 and enroll at Bona in the fall, where he’ll presumably have the option to either play right away or redshirt.

“Go Bonnies,” he said, quite simply, in a social media post Thursday, which included a graphic of him in a No. 24 Bona uniform.

FROM THE early stages, coach Mark Schmidt made it clear that, despite its recruiting haul to that point, Rumpel was a high priority.

Two weeks after COVID-related NCAA recruiting restrictions were lifted (on June 1), Bona welcomed Rumpel for an official visit, making him one of the first prospects to actually come to campus in 15 months. Then, too, it was aided by geography, never far from Rumpel’s head-turning efforts for both Seton Catholic and the AAU Albany City Rocks.

And in late July, after it seemed as if its final scholarship for 2021-22 might go unfilled, Schmidt’s staff landed what in any other year would have been the crown jewel of its recruiting class, but this summer was merely the latest in a string of big splashes.

Rumpel tallied an incredible 364 points (an average of 45.5 per game) in just eight games in a limited senior season at Seton Catholic earlier this year, according to maxpreps.com. As a junior, he averaged 35 points (which ranked No. 3 in New York State and No. 8 nationally), 10 rebounds and five assists while guiding Seton to a Section 4, Class B championship.

In the title contest, he racked up 45 points and nine rebounds, leading the Saints to an easy 79-52 triumph over Norwich.

RUMPEL IS viewed as a quick, explosive guard who possesses an excellent handle, a high skill level and a high basketball IQ. In recent months, he’s garnered further attention for consistently being among the top players at AAU events that have involved several three- and four-star recruits. In late May, his City Rocks team took on Team Final, a nationally elite program, before 2,500 fans in Albany.

Rumpel shined as bright as the opposition, which featured five-star 2022 recruits Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren.

“Brett Rumpel is a talented scoring combo guard (in the Class of 2021),” read a profile on the high-scoring guard on bigshots.net. “Rumpel has an elite ability to handle the basketball and has perfected several dribble combinations that allow him to break down defenders off the bounce and touch the paint.

“He not only is a very skilled player, but he also has great athleticism and explosiveness. Rumpel can shoot well from the midrange and also knock down the three. On the defensive end, Rumpel gets stops and uses his athleticism to guard the ball at a high level. Brett is a winner and competes for every possession.”

Rumpel completes a standout eight-player recruiting class, which figures to both help the Atlantic 10-favorite Bonnies take yet another step in 2021-22 and provide an exciting new core for when their five starting seniors leave the program next spring. With the Binghamton native on board, Bona has a full 13 scholarship players for the coming campaign.

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