Blake Rankin is still feeling good about Rutgers.
Plenty of North Jersey skeptics have been talking up Khalif Herbin or Eli Hughes at various points. They're good players, but Rutgers doesn't run a Kirk Ciarrocca or Rich Rodriguez offense. They can't take a million slot receiver types. Delon Stephenson got the nod over those two, and he's no slouch himself. This isn't your father's Rutgers. Every year, there will be legit in-state DI prospects who won't get scholarships. Delon and Carlton Agudosi had strong senior seasons.
Desmon Peoples conceivably could play a few different positions, and he's been playing well too. In fact, Urban Meyer took a brief respite from poaching every Penn State commit to see if Peoples was solid to Rutgers. Really? Peoples is a good prospect, but Ohio State is loaded at RB, WR, and CB, and the Big Ten doesn't allow oversigning. Shouldn't Meyer be stalking Kyle Kalis (a former OSU OL commit who switched to Michigan after Tressel's firing) or something, instead?
Chris Muller is an Army All-American. He has a special message for Penn State (FYI, Rivals says the assistant recruiting him was Mike McQueary, who barely ranks below Glenn Foley in the Rutgers hate pantheon.)
"Schools bash Rutgers all the time because of the conference they play in and I take offense to it," said Muller who said at least two major programs are still recruiting him weekly. "I don't know if Rutgers will stay or leave the Big East, I can't predict that but I don't like it when schools tell me I made a bad decision. That was another thing that upset me about Penn State, they bashed Rutgers pretty good. I respect schools that focus on their own strengths and sell their own program, but I still tell everyone respectfully that I take pride in my decision to play at Rutgers and I'm sticking to it."
Rutgers is a finalist for NJ QB Devin Fuller. You have to think he must like RU if he's still keeping them in the mix as a mobile QB. J.C. Shurburtt thinks RU signs Fuller and NJ DT Darius Hamilton, but not NJ CB Yuri Wright.
With Hamilton, Urban just needs to keep his greedy paws away. Make like Oklahoma and go home. Don Bosco's big four of Hamilton, Wright, Leonto Carroo, and LB/S Elijah Shumate are all Army AAs. Hamilton is the Star-Ledger's Defensive Player of the Year. Speaking of Bosco, Fordham was reportedly looking at hiring Greg Toal, but now the odds are against it.
Speaking of Penn State, PA LB Nyeem Wartman visited Rutgers.
NJ LB Quanzell Lambert is the Courier-Post's Defensive Player of the Year.
Due to grade issues, NJ DT Jamil Pollard is only looking at PSU and BC.
Interest has really fallen off for NY S Wayne Morgan, who's looking at Syracuse.
Which random Rutgers assistant almost committed a faux pas at Palmetto High?
So: let's talk about South Carolina's massive proclivity for cheating. No one is paying attention to the story at all after Penn State, but it's a doozy. They voluntarily surrendered six scholarships while admitting to major violations, including two Philadelphia-area boosters giving improper benefits to players. Oh, and Northeast-recruiting assistant G.A. Mangus is barred from off-campus recruiting in the month of January, 2012 for his ties with the shamed boosters.
The NCAA alleged Lahn introduced Byrd, an elite high school sprinter, to USC track coach Curtis Frye, financed four unofficial visits for Byrd and his father Adrian (the vice president of the SAM Foundation) to South Carolina from their home in New Jersey, provided Byrd and his parents two gifts cards valued at $170 and with food and entertainment at his home at least five times and sent an email to the USC compliance department asking for Pastides to meet with Byrd’s mother during Byrd’s official visit to the school, according to its letter.
South Carolina's football program oversigned like crazy for years and is already at 20 commits for this class. They seemingly have no margin for error, so of course two players just transferred under mysterious circumstances, with more rumored to be out the door. This is the paradigm of a renegade program run amok, and of course the NCAA will do nothing more than slap them on the wrist because their outrageous behavior is just par for the course in the SEC. Read the full response to the NCAA's initial inquiry here.
PA DE Noah Spence committed to Ohio State. Long considered a PSU lean, Spence was looking at Maryland for about two seconds, but Randy Edsall isn't exactly winning them over with his personality. KS DE Trace Clark committed to Oklahoma State.