Kent State lands St. Viator’s Jeremiah Hernandez

Jeremiah Hernandez (33) of St. Viator runs past a St. Patrick defender. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

For anyone who doesn’t think the head coach is a huge factor in a player’s college decision, enter Jeremiah Hernandez’s recruitment.

From the very start, the St. Viator star had a plan in the recruiting process. He wanted to find the head coach who he felt had his best interests at heart and who would look out for him over his four years in college.

Hernandez found that in Kent State coach Rob Senderoff, choosing the Golden Flashes over several other mid-major offers, including Drake, Canisius, Wiscconsin-Green Bay and others.

Hernandez, who consistently saw the persistence of his future head coach, committed to Kent State Monday night.

“I saw a family guy who the players really seem to love to play for in coach Senderoff,” says Hernandez. “The character of the guys in the locker room impressed me.”

Hernandez was not only appreciative of the fact Kent State was one of the first schools to show interest and extend an offer, but it was the program that stayed on him throughout the recruiting process.

“They’ve been there the whole time,” Hernandez said of Kent State.

But what really stood out to Hernandez was the fact it was the head coach who played such a big role in his recruitment.

“It was really coach [Rob] Senderoff who recruited me from start to finish, who was the center of my recruitment,” says Hernandez of the coach who will begin his eighth year at Kent State this season. “I built a relationship with him very early. He clearly had a plan for me and showed that to me. That all made a big difference.”

Hernandez said Senderoff mapped out a plan for him –– from the time he would commit to the time he arrived on campus. He then followed it up with another plan of how his four years would look while at Kent State.

“He was so organized in showing exactly how everything would be,” says Hernandez. “They are going to play me at point guard and allow me to go make plays at the point guard position. They said they saw me as a Division I point guard. That was big for me.”

Hernandez has been a highly versatile and productive player for the Lions. This past year he averaged 15 points, four rebounds and three assists a game for a team that won an East Suburban Catholic Conference championship.

As St. Viator makes the move from Class 4A to Class 3A this year, Hernandez can now focus on helping get the Lions to Peoria.

“A weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” Hernandez says of having his college decision made. “Now I can concentrate on my senior year and just go out and enjoy my final season.”

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