Rutgers Football Recruiting Wide Receivers: Who is Gonna Catch the Damn Ball?

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Updates on three 2015 wide receivers at the top of Rutgers priority list.

Rutgers has two already committed, but needs more wide receivers in this recruiting class, especially after putting up a goose egg in the position in 2014.  Pennsylvania's Freddie Simmons; Maryland's Lawrence Cager; and Florida's Kalif Jackson are at the top of the 2015 big board.  How is Rutgers doing with each of these explosive playmakers?

Kalif Jackson

Jackson is a 6'5" 200 pound 3* receiver from Fletcher HS in Neptune Beach, Florida, with an impressive offer list. In addition to Rutgers, Jackson boasts offers from BC, Cal, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Maryland, Missouri, UCF, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Wisconsin, among others.

Jackson was scheduled to announce his commitment at the end of June, choosing from a top five of Missouri, Vanderbilt, Rutgers, Duke and Georgia Tech. Rumor has it Jackson wanted to commit to Duke, but the Blue Devils are full at wide receiver, and told him "not now, thanks." Duke has a top-20 class as rated by Rivals (in football, no less!) with three 3* WRs and two 3* ATH in the fold.

That is a great development for Rutgers. Georgia Tech, known for its option running game far more than its passing attack (it has been a long time since Megatron left), also has two 3* WRs and two 3* ATH already committed. That leaves Mizzou and Vandy. The Tigers only have nine commits to date, and no WRs (one athlete). The Commodores have eight recruits, and no wide receivers committed.

Rutgers appears to be in good shape for Jackson if Duke is out of the picture. Jackson  has several NJ and Rutgers connections. His mother is a Rutgers law graduate, his father grew up in Franklin Twp., he is close with class of 2014 Knights Kam Lott and Jacob Kraut, and he is also tight with fellow 2015 WR commit Rashad Blunt, with whom he plays on a 7 v. 7 team in Florida.

Freddie Simmons

Simmons is a 6'3" 180 lb. 3* receiver from Bethlehem Catholic in Pennsylvania, just over the NJ border. Simmons' offer list is not quite as extensive as Jackson's, but this kid is a baller.

Last week, he released a top five on twitter that included Rutgers.

Really, Rutgers is in his top 3. He named two California schools among his top 5, but he has not visited either school, and does not have any intentions to visit them before he makes his decision in August.

For anyone curious why Kyle Flood has struggled to pull in some of the top recruits in New Jersey, Simmons confirmed what we have long suspected: negative recruiting is a major factor, with teams whispering about Kyle Flood's job security. As Simmons recently told Todderick Hunt:

And this is what might come into play: The fact that people are saying that coach (Kyle) Flood, is he gonna be there in a couple years. So I don't know how I feel about that. But that's why Rutgers is below Wake Forest right now and probably UVA. But I love the whole philosophy of coach Flood and the fact that I'll be able to come in and compete for playing time right away.

[Wake Forest] told me straight up that if I just made it to the season healthy and I worked that I'd be playing as a freshman, like starting, because I'm their biggest recruit. That's why Wake is over Rutgers. But Rutgers would be over Wake if I was sure the coaching staff would still be there.

Simmons plans to visit UVA soon, and might make another trip back to Rutgers before making his decision.

Lawrence Cager

Cager is a 6'5" 200 lb. 3* pass catcher from Towson, MD. Cager has an extensive offer list, including Maryland, UNC, BC, Cincy, UConn, Duke, NC State, Purdue, Syracuse, Oklahoma State, Wake Forest, and UVA. He does not have the offer he really wants though; Mr. Cager seems to want to be a Buckeye, but Urbz and co. have not made the tender yet.

Rutgers is doing well with Cager, but he is in no hurry to commit to any school.

As he told Todderick this week:

Right now, I've got 35 offers and Rutgers is definitely a top school right now if I had to make a commitment right now, they would be a top school. I just like Coach (Ben) McDaniels and Coach (Kyle) Flood.

I talk with Coach McDaniels about every day, so I have a lot of contact with them.

Cager does not plan to make his decision until after his senior season.

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Stick with On the Banks as we chronicle Rutgers efforts to pull in the explosive playmakers it will need to compete in the B1G.

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