First off, a special message from Coach Schiano.
It’s going well. I can’t obviously comment on particular recruits, but we’ve got a great group here and we’re enjoying the time with their families. You know, I’ve never done. We’re not a school quite frankly that does recruiting weekends on game weekends. So there’s a lot of new experiences I’m going though. At 43, you think you’ve seen a lot. You haven’t seen it. So this is good growth experience for me. Unfortunately, the game didn’t go the way we wanted yesterday. The way it ended. But again, you’ve got to get up and get going. And that’s what we did.
We’ve got great energy with these recruits and our players. You know, I’m excited about where we’re going with this bowl game. A lot of our Florida kids get to go back home. I’m sure it will be a great opportunity for their families to get on up to the games. Really looking forward to taking our team to our fifth straight bowl game and all the things that go with it. To a great city. We’ve got a great group of kids. You know I think they value. They don’t take this stuff for granted, and I’m going to go up there now and see them and kind of give them the abreviated plan because quite frankly it’s hard to give them what they don’t know. But I can tell them they better get cracking on their books tonight because it’s coming down faster, maybe faster than they thought academically. But again, I’m excited. It’s really a challenge, the opponent we play. And can’t wait to get going.
The Record had a story on Betim Bujari last week. Wow, linebacker?
Ok, visit weekend number one is in the books. Jacksonville back Casey Turner was a bit under the radar, but he did have a few decent mid-level BCS conference offers, and was starting to get a bit more buzz after a big senior season. Hence, he's no longer a FIU commit. On paper, he's one of the best gets in the class up to this point. It remains to be seen what effect this commitment has on Mustafa Greene, who is admittedly a sentimental favorite because of his Brooklyn ties, and was the biggest name at the position mentioning Rutgers for a while. Ideally I'd like two backs, although Rutgers is in the mix for some very good players at the position in 2011. Typically the best athletes on any HS team play RB, so those guys are always a candidate to switch positions too.
Speaking of Greene, he was on campus over the weekend. Other teams like NC State continue to make a push.
Rutgers will be his first official and that will take place this weekend. "I'm looking forward to it," he said. He says NC State will be his next visit, most likely. Green wants to visit all five of his leaders but has not scheduled any of the next four. He does not have a favorite.
Commit number two came more out of the blue in the form of ex-Hofstra lineman Matt McBride. Looking over the numbers recently, I thought that Rutgers was fairly thin when it came to interior linemen, even with Quartucci enrolling early. McBride fixes that problem. RU had him in camp last year, but didn't offer. What's interesting is that he hasn't played a down yet (redshirting in 2009), but you have to assume that the coaching staff received some good reports. I'm curious to see if we get any other transfers along these lines. SoR thread has a few comments.
All in all, I think it's a weekend that will pay dividends down the line, mainly because so many of the top targets left on the board still want to take all of their remaining visits. Rutgers fans are understandably interested in the Maryland trio of WR Brandon Coleman, OG Shane Johnson, and DB Lorenzo Waters. Coleman has said that he'll take his visits, which appear now to be Maryland and Syracuse in coming weeks. Coleman enjoyed his visit, and says that he likes that Coach Schiano isn't blowing smoke.
"It went well," he stated. "He and I talked and he’s a real cool coach. He and I are eye-to-eye on some things. We had the same values and I think things might work out there.
It's the same story from Johnson.
"I just liked the way he talked about Rutgers. You could feel he was really, really in love with Rutgers and how he wanted that national championship. He told me if I really don’t love it there don’t come. That’s what I’m looking for, I have to love it."
Now they have to do it all again this weekend, while somehow getting ready for the St. Pete Bowl.
2011 PA RB Jameel Poteat seems to be blowing up fast.
Anyone else really enjoying the competition between Rivals, Scout, and State of Rutgers as of late? SoR seems to be blossoming as an independent site, and Scout has actually been the best info source of the three as of late when it comes to info about this year's class. Your move, Rivals.
FL DT Richard Ash committed to West Virginia (and ended up visiting Michigan). Tampa corner Jeremi Wilkes committed to Syracuse, so I assume he won't be taking his schedule visit then. FL LB Jeff Luc committed to FSU after Bobby Bowden announced his retirement, and LB Christian Jones is probably soon to follow.