As the offers piled up for Jacobs senior Cameron Krutwig, the 6-foot-9 senior center never forgot about Loyola University.
Loyola was one of the first Division-I schools to offer Krutwig a scholarship the summer going into his junior season.
In all, Krutwig had more than 20 offers from D-I programs, but Loyola coach Porter Moser and assistant Bryan Mullins continued to build their relationship with the Golden Eagles’ big man throughout the long recruiting process.
“I felt like I had built a really good relationship with [Moser], but not just their head coach ... their entire staff and players,” said Krutwig, a Northwest Herald All-Area first-team selection last season. “I felt like it was a good situation, and a good fit.”
On Tuesday morning, Krutwig committed to Moser and the Ramblers, announcing his decision on Twitter: “Very excited to say that I’ve committed to play basketball at Loyola University!! #Ramblers #MVC.”
Krutwig, regarded as the state’s top center in his class by 247Sports.com, visited Loyola for a third time Monday, checking out a team practice and having lunch with players. His final visit assured him that “this is the place I wanted to be.”
Loyola was always in his top five, Krutwig said.
“I’ve visited three times, and every time it was a good time,” he said. “[Moser] is going to put me in situations where I can succeed, and I can do well at the next level. He knows my game, and he’s not going to try to make me do things that aren’t in my game.”
Krutwig thanked his parents, Kevin and Lori, his older brother, Conrad, Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts, and AAU Young Legends coach Mike Weinstein for their support during the process.
Loyola being close to home was a factor in his decision, Krutwig said. He expects the Ramblers to be competitive in the Missouri Valley Conference with a program that graduated only one senior. Loyola was 15-17 last season, 7-11 in the MVC.
He was able to meet many of the players who will be there when he arrives in the fall of 2017.
“I wanted to be closer to home because my family can catch games,” Krutwig said. “People that know me my whole life can come up and catch a game, and the Missouri Valley is a really good conference. It’s more about fit than it is going to the highest level you can play.”
Roberts wasn’t surprised by Krutwig’s decision based on the relationship he had built with Loyola’s coaching staff.
“He liked Loyola from Day 1,” Roberts said. “There’s other schools that offer early, then kind of disappeared for while, and then come in again. But Coach Moser just did a great job of being with him the whole way and being patient and building the relationship. Ultimately, that’s what Cam is. He’s a big relationship guy, and I really think that’s what did it for him in the end.”
Krutwig averaged 17.7 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.6 blocks, shooting 65 percent from the field last season as the Eagles repeated as Fox Valley Conference Valley champions and won its second Class 4A regional title in three seasons.
“They’re getting a kid who is at a very, very high level right now, maybe more so than some other kids that are going into college at his age,” Roberts said. “As his body changes and he physically continues to develop, he’s just going to get that much better.
“He’s so intelligent, knows the game so well ... and a rarity for someone his size is that he’s a gym rat. Usually the guards are the gym rats and always want to be playing. A lot of bigs just play because they’re supposed to, but that’s not Cam.”
Krutwig, who led all scorers with 26 points and 14 rebounds in a sectional semifinal loss to Rockford Auburn last season, said the Golden Eagles have even bigger expectations in his final year.
“What I’m looking forward to most is being with my friends and playing with them one last year, and doing big things,” Krutwig said. “I want to make it down to state, obviously. ... I think that’s the goal for all of us. We’ve got really good chemistry, and really good bonds between us, so I think it’s going to be a very big year for us.”