Rutgers Recruiting: Who Poached Jersey Most?

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Besides Rutgers, where did New Jersey's top recruits sign?

New Jersey has always served as fertile ground for college football teams around the country. While Rutgers has made great strides in keeping talent at home, outsiders continue to enter the Garden State and gain commitments from New Jersey prospects. Let's take a look at where New Jersey's best recruits are going not just in the Big Ten, but nationally:

(all rankings from 24/7 Sports composite)

- Big Ten -

Ohio State
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Noah Brown ATH 6'2" 212 Pope John XXIII (Sparta, NJ) ****
Darius Slade DE 6'5" 238 Montclair (Montclair, NJ) ***

Michigan
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Jabrill Peppers CB 6'1" 205 Paramus Catholic (Paramus, NJ) *****
Juwann Bushell-Beatty OT 6'7" 310 Paramus Catholic (Paramus, NJ) ***

Penn State
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Saeed Blacknall WR 6'3" 210 Manalapan (Manalapan, NJ) ****
Mike Gesicki TE 6'5" 236 Southern Regional (Manahawkin, NJ) ****
Antoine White DT 6'3" 265 Millville (Millville, NJ) ***
Jason Cabinda ATH 6'1" 220 Hunterdon Central (Flemington, NJ) ***

Michigan State
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Gerald Owens FB 6'1" 245 West Deptford (Westville, NJ) ***

Maryland
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Juwann Winfree ATH 6'2" 180 Dwight Morrow (Englewood, NJ) ****

Northwestern
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Garrett Dickerson DE 6'4" 240 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ) ****
Cameron Quiero OLB 6'1" 207 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ) ***

Iowa
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Jameer Outsey DE 6'3" 225 Franklin Township (Somerset, NJ) ***
Terrence Harris DE 6'3" 250 Paramus Catholic (Paramus, NJ) **

Rutgers
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Justin Nelson OLB 6'1" 245 De Paul Catholic (Wayne, NJ) ***
Sidney Gopre OLB 6'0" 200 Weequahic (Newark, NJ) ***
Saquan Hampton CB 6'2" 185 Hamilton (Trenton, NJ) ***
Kevin Wilkins OG 6'4" 278 St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, NJ) ***
Zack Heeman OT 6'8" 270 Mount Olive (Flanders, NJ) ***
Jimmy Hogan DE 6'5" 225 Ramapo (Franklin Lakes, NJ) ***
Donald Bedell DE 6'4" 230 Rumson Fair Haven Reg. (Rumson, NJ) ***


- Atlantic Coast Conference -

Florida State
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Ryan Izzo TE 6'6" 220 Pope John XXIII (Sparta, NJ) ***

Miami
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Kiy Hester S 6'0" 200 De Paul Catholic (Wayne, NJ) ****
David Njoku WR 6'4" 220 Cedar Grove (Cedar Grove, NJ) ***
Courtel Jenkins DT 6'2" 294 De Paul Catholic (Wayne, NJ) ***

Virginia Tech
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Billy Ray Mitchell OG 6'5" 285 Paramus Catholic (Paramus, NJ) ***
Tyrell Smith OT 6'5" 265 Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ) ***

Pittsburgh
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Adonis Jennings WR 6'3" 185 Timber Creek (Sicklerville, NJ) ****

Syracuse
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Rodney Williams CB 5'10" 185 Cherry Hill - West (Cherry Hill, NJ) **

Boston College
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Jonathan Hilliman RB 6'1" 210 St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, NJ) ****
Joe Vitiello DE 6'4" 255 Immaculata (Somerville, NJ) ***
Sherman Alston RB 5'7" 165 St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, NJ) **
Tom Sweeney TE 6'5" 220 Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ) **
Austin Stevens TE 6'4" 220 Montclair (Montclair, NJ) **
Noa Merritt DT 6'1" 265 Pope John XXIII (Sparta, NJ) **

Wake Forest
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Ryan Anderson OT 6'6" 275 The Hun School (Princeton, NJ) **


- American Athletic Conference -

Temple
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Shamir Bearfield S 6'0" 170 St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, NJ) ***
Michael Dogbe OLB 6'4" 230 Parsippany Hills (Morris Plains, NJ) ***
Frank Nutile QB 6'4" 200 Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ) ***
Sean Chandler CB 5'10" 175 Camden (Camden, NJ) ***
David Hood RB 5'10" 185 Absegami (Absecon, NJ) **


- Mid-American Conference -

Western Michigan
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Jamauri Bogan RB 5'7" 165 Union (Union, NJ) ***

Massachusetts
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Randall West QB 6'4" 215 The Lawrenceville School (Trenton, NJ) **
Chris Carter DE 6'4" 240 Bridgewater-Raritan (Bridgewater, NJ) **

- Conference USA -

Old Dominion
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Marques Little CB 5'9" 170 Williamstown (Williamstown, NJ) ***
Isaiah Worthy OLB 6'2" 230 West Deptford (Westville, NJ) ***
Justice Davila S 5'11" 185 Timber Creek (Sicklerville, NJ) **

- FBS Independents -

Notre Dame
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Rating
Quenton Nelson OT 6'5" 295 Red Bank Catholic (Red Bank, NJ) ****

Big Ten: 21 recruits

ACC: 15

AAC: 7

MAC: 3

C-USA: 3

Notre Dame: 1

Rutgers predictably led the way with the most New Jersey recruits, garnering seven total. However, Boston College and Temple weren't far behind with six and five from the Garden State, respectively. The Eagle's ability to sign six Jersey players might be alarming if it weren't for the majority of them being two-star sleeper recruits. Temple, on the other hand, stole some really good players in Michael Dogbe and Shamir Bearfield, with Bearfield choosing the Owls over an offer from the Scarlet Knights. Temple even signed lightly recruited quarterback prospect Frank Nutile out of Don Bosco Prep, possibly establishing a pipeline to the perennial power.

Rutgers also failed to sign a single player from top in-state programs Pope John XXIII (Sparta, NJ) and Paramus Catholic (Paramus, NJ), with Noah Brown and Jabrill Peppers being the most notable players to spurn the hometown college program. Also, James Franklin's first recruiting class has a high-quality Jersey flavor to it, including Saeed Blacknall. One silver lining is that Rutgers did not really lose top targets to lesser or equal programs. Maryland did not sign a top NJ prospect, and Rutgers didn't seem to show a ton of interest in Northwestern commit Garrett Dickerson. You never want to lose your key prospects to the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, or Penn State, but it's understandable when it happens, especially considering the results on the field for the Scarlet Knights this past season.

Kyle Flood's status as head coach is not currently helping matters since some might see him as a lame duck coach, but hiring Ralph Friedgen as offensive coordinator should help boost recruiting by showing top recruits that RU means business on offense. Rutgers has always been solid defensively, 2013 notwithstanding. If Flood had more wins to end the season, the Scarlet Knights might just have prevented some decommitments. The B1G will be much more difficult, no doubt. But RU won't stay near the bottom forever, and once that happens more and better recruits will decide to stay in Piscataway.

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