The Prince/Cohen news is old at this point, although now they're official. Prince doesn't get a position group. What's more interesting is that Campanile replaces Dinkins as not only TE coach, but also becomes WR coach as well, which is rather strange. Dinkins is a decent recruiter, but you obviously need to get Camp on staff as a full-time NJ recruiter.
Is Rutgers not finished with its 2013 recruiting class? One report has Rutgers looking at a transfer CB. No one has any OL falling out of the sky, but it likes like a punter may have. Nick Marsh has played intermittently for Utah over the past few seasons, so expectations probably won't be too high, but it's only a year gamble. If the staff was willing to do that, why not go after the Albany transfer who went to Temple?
More details still have to come out, but this sure is a strange situation. Brooklyn JUCO lineman Ali Kassem issued a public verbal commitment to Rutgers today, only to switch to NC State several hours later.
Personally, I was lukewarm on Kassem. I thought he was a decent prospect, but only decent. I wanted Rutgers to sign another high school offensive lineman in this class, not a JUCO, as they already had plenty of upperclassmen. Perhaps some more behind the scenes details will come out, but I don't really see this as making much of a difference either way regardless of what happens.
The team officially announced five incoming freshmen today - QB Chris Laviano, RB Dontae Ayres, LB Lester Liston, CB Nadir Barnwell, and CB Delon Stephenson. Barnwell and Stephenson should have good opportunities to see time next fall both because of talent and need, while Liston has a chance at the two deep. The other two will probably redshirt.
One surprising name not on the list is punter Dean Crozier. He seemingly came out of nowhere a few weeks back, only to disappear just as fast due to eligibility issues. Honestly, it was a surprise that a 24-year old foreigner was eligible to begin with. So, that raises the question about whether the staff is comfortable with DiPaula next year or not.
Another day, another 2013 commitment for Rutgers football. This time it's Janarion Grant out of Florida, who projects to slot receiver or cornerback most likely. Looks like a solid enough commit, but Rutgers already has some commits at WR and in the secondary, so he doesn't fill a huge need necessarily.
Rutgers has a lot of commits overall, so there aren't necessarily any huge needs left in terms of position. They could use another freshman OL signee, but the biggest name left there is JUCO Ali Kassem. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to LB recruit Skai Moore, although he also is at a position need.
Overall, it's not a terrible recruiting year for Rutgers, but definitely a relative disappointment compared to the last few. A top NJ recruiter on the staff would really do wonders moving forward.
Quentin Gause recently established a pipeline from Rochester, New York to Rutgers, and now Devan Carter is following in his footsteps. Carter decommitted from Syracuse following Doug Marrone's departure, and now has committed to Rutgers. There's probably an equal chance that he ends up at either fullback or linebacker, depending on whether or not Rutgers is able to land another LB like Skai Moore or not.
Carter is a solid prospect, not a headline guy, but Rutgers definitely does need another fullback. Cue the endless vitriol from Syracuse about how Rutgers is the devil and Greg Schiano invented negative recruiting, even though no other fanbase has ever complained about either.
Ugh, this is really disappointing. There have been mixed reports on whether it's Moore's family or his coaches who have been pushing him away from Rutgers from the start. This interview with Moore's coach seems to indicate that Rutgers is out of it. However, you never know - D.C. Jefferson's coach wanted him at LSU, and Rutgers eventually got him to recommit. This is worth monitoring for the time being. Obviously we'd love to have Moore, and you hope his recruitment didn't cause RU to pass on other good prospects.
If nothing else, Skai Moore's verbal commitment to Rutgers University signifies a new era in bad sports naming puns.
As down as some people may be on some of the sleepers in this year's class, it's truly impossible to find any fault with Moore, a genuine blue chip prospect. He's been a Rutgers lean for a while, but some people close to Moore were apoplectic that he was not receiving more interest from traditional powers, until Wisconsin stepped in lately. Ohio State had interest too, but ultimately wouldn't take his verbal with all the blue chippers they're in the mix for.
Their loss is our gain. This is probably the first commitment that can be directly tied to the Big Ten move. This is the kid of player we've always fallen just short for, and now we're getting them.
So, what's next? It'll be interesting to see whether there's still room for Wisconsin LB commit D.J. Singleton. Rutgers of course is still reportedly going after a few other players currently committed to other schools on both sides of the ball.
That's the question Rutgers fans are asking after the school reportedly reserved a commitment from the hitherto-unknown prospect several days back. Crozier apparently is a 24-year old Australian punter, who also happens to be listed at 6'7, 240 pounds. Wow, there are about twelve things to dissect in that sentence. You assume he won't redshirt, but Crozier is going to be a 28-year old college player in theory.
Rutgers already has a scholarship punter on the roster in Anthony DiPaula, and while many teams go with three scholarship punter/kickers, this commitment came somewhat as a surprise. Will he do kickoffs or anything else? Evaluating special teams specialists is notoriously difficult, so it's hard to analyze this beyond the notion that Rutgers thought it needed another punter.
Rutgers is losing Mark Harrison and Tim Wright after the season, but fortunately will not be in want of tall, bruising receivers. The giant machine is back in action, with the latest inductee being Andre Patton from Delaware.
This commit should help ensure that Rutgers can keep running a pro style offense, and should wrap up this year's WR recruiting. Now the focus should shift to OL commits, along with a few more defenders.
2014 is a long, long ways away, meaning that would be premature to get too excited about any commitment, especially an out-of-state one. Still, reportedly one of the top prospects in the state of Florida has given an early verbal commitments to Rutgers.