Rutgers got stronger and deeper on the offensive line Saturday, as JUCO offensive lineman Cal Ibanez committed to Coach Kyle Flood following an official visit to the Banks.
Ibanez, a Miami native, is a 6'5" 325 lb. offensive tackle from Fullerton College in California. Ibanez has B1G size, and it appears the days of undersized linemen at RU are coming to an end. In addition to tackle, he has also played all other O-line positions during his career, adding a versatile and experienced piece to the Scarlet Knights crew of trench warriors.
Ibanez's Fullerton highlight tape shows a big, powerful pass protector, who displays nice agility and the ability to lock up his assignment. In run-blocking, he has the ability to open huge holes for the back to hit. See the play at 1:13, where he drives his man about 8 yards to the left. He may need to work on his hip flexibility and playing low, but we have the coaches on staff who can help him stay low and increase his leverage.
Ibanez will have three years to play two at Rutgers, and will sign with the Knights this week, allowing him to enroll for summer classes.
Ibanez will probably see playing time this year, as he may not yet be as good as our starters, but better than some or most of the second line. His true value will be next year, particularly if the Knights lose Kaleb Johnson AND Keith Lumpkin to the NFL Draft.
Good pickup for the Knights. Rutgers struggles to play the JUCO game sometimes, because it can be difficult to qualify some JUCO kids academically, so it's nice when one who can help Rutgers is also able to qualify.
Welcome to the Banks Cal!