Column: After two years at Duke, Yorkville Christian’s Jaden Schutt opens new door at Virginia Tech. ‘I want to play.’

Let’s do lunch. And they did.

Duke’s Jaden Schutt has landed in Blacksburg, Virginia, jumping out of the NCAA’s transfer portal onto the campus of Virginia Tech, his new basketball home, ready to start summer school.

The former Blue Devil is now a Hokie.

It took a little less than a month for the Yorkville Christian alum to relocate, showing how much and how quickly the transfer portal is impacting big-time college athletics. It’s how the system works.

The reason for the move was straightforward.

“I was able to improve, but at the end of the day, if you’re not able to get on the court it doesn’t show,” Schutt said of his Duke experience. “In the end, I’m a basketball player. I want to play.”

Playing a part was an offer from Virginia Tech coach Mike Young to fly to Durham, North Carolina, to have lunch with Schutt a few days after the 6-foot-5 sophomore filled out his portal paperwork.

Schutt gave up his scholarship at Duke on April 15, which is tax day, but like most stories, it’s not exactly cut and dried.

Let’s go back two-plus years.

Schutt, who was preparing to lead Yorkville Christian to the Class 1A state title as a senior, committed to sign with Duke as a member of the first recruiting class for coach Jon Scheyer.

Scheyer was the successor to retiring legend Mike Krzyzewski. Schutt, meanwhile, was the area’s highest-profile recruit in basketball since East Aurora star Ryan Boatright picked UConn.

Boatright went on to win a national title in 2014, then embarked on a professional career overseas.

Schutt considered signing with Duke to be the opportunity of a lifetime, but the portal had an early negative impact, with playing time as a freshman being limited by incoming, veteran transfers.

He played in just 14 games that freshman year, averaging 2.1 points.

Last fall, Schutt was set to redshirt, allowing a foot injury to heal and giving him time to continue his development. But then he suffered an avulsion fracture in his thumb that required surgery.

At midseason, Schutt ended up tearing meniscus cartilage in his knee that also led to surgery. That injury didn’t involve his ACL, as some published reports had indicated.

Still, Schutt was surrounded by top-level talent after being ranked No. 50 in the ESPN 100 for the 2022 class.

“I was one of the lowest-ranked guys in our class, but it was the No. 1-ranked class in the country,” Schutt said of Duke. “My whole thing was I wanted the highest mountain to climb every day.

“I thought it would provide me the chance to practice with and go up against NBA-caliber players.”

Schutt, who’s continuing to rehab from the surgical procedures, said he’ll be ready to go in the fall.

He had more than 20 Division I scholarship offers while dominating for Yorkville Christian. Virginia Tech, an Atlantic Coast Conference rival of Duke, wasn’t one of them, however.

Schutt began hearing again from coaches upon entering the portal. He made visits to four of his final five schools — Dayton, Butler, DePaul and Virginia Tech.

Wisconsin was also in the mix but canceled Schutt’s planned visit.

“I wouldn’t change anything about the last two years,” said Schutt, who maintains a positive relationship with Scheyer and his coaching staff.

While he didn’t know Young personally, Schutt did his homework for two years while studying game plans for Duke’s games against Virginia Tech. It gave him some insights into the program.

“Young is pretty down to earth,” Schutt said of his new coach. “It made a positive impact on me when he came out for that lunch visit because he wanted to get to know me.

“Basically what sold me, I remembered studying them in our preparation and looking at their style of play and thinking, ‘This would be a great offense for what I do.’”

Young’s teams take full advantage of the 3-point shot, a strong suit for Schutt, plus the program’s all-time 3-point leader just graduated from Virginia Tech.

It could mean fun times ahead.