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The Rutgers Effect (part 2)

Now that you have the back story, who has the rise of Rutgers really hurt?

Short answer: Syracuse and flyover country. But let's review it class by class. I am only counting players that every contributed at Rutgers.

2001:

DE Ryan Neill - Pittsburgh, PSU, Wake Forest, Iowa, Northwestern. Hard to say which one of these schools he would have chosen. Let's say Pitt, just because his dad went there. Neill was a great Big East player and undoubtedly would have helped Pitt in their miserable 2005 season. In fact, he helped preserve Rutgers's victory over Pitt that appeared to be in jeopardy due to ref shenanigans.

SS Jarvis Johnson - Maryland, Iowa State. Had a great three years at Rutgers before a miserable senior season in 2004. Hard to say, because the Rivals data from 2001 is fairly undetailed.

Others - WR Chris Baker (Nebraska, Syracuse, Cincy), FB Ishamel Medley (Pitt, WVU, BC, Wake Forest), CB Eddie Grimes (NC State, WVU, Minnesota, UConn), LB Brad Cunningham (Notre Dame, Penn State, Syracuse, Vandy)

2002:

FB Brian Leonard - Syracuse, Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Washington, Wisconsin, Missouri. While playing LB at Penn State next to his buddy Poz or at Notre Dame would have been tempting, there is little doubt that Leonard would have ended up playing FB at Syracuse. His big brother Nate was a decent recruit coming out of high school before an injury scared off most comers. Only Terry Shea pursued him, largely because he did not have the option not to. Recruits weren't exactly barging down his door. However, loyalty paid off a few years later. Brian, growing up in a small town near the Canadian border, had always dreamed of playing football at Syracuse, carrying on the legacy of #44 and his idol Rob Konrad. Syracuse's staff did not take his commitment seriously, and honestly believed they could sway him until the LOI-day stunner where he indeed faxed the paper in to Rutgers. One windy day in 2004 and a Ray Rice later, and the rest is, like Syracuse football, history.

QB Ryan Hart - Maryland, Louisville, NC State, Purdue. Hart was an ok starter for Rutgers and finally did well in 2005. However he was an interception machine with a very weak arm. Likely would have done nothing for Louisville, but could have conceivably helped at the other schools. Rivals data from this period again does not hold up particularly well. His dad played at FSU, meaning he could have walked on there.

DE/LB William "Papa" Beckford - Pitt, Kansas State, WVU, Alabama. Always a fan-favorite, Beckford never really lived up to his athleticism at LB. Those skills however did translate to a productive 2006 as a pass-rushing DE.

WR Shawn Tucker - Ohio State, Auburn, BC, Iowa State, NC State, Syracuse, USF. A sore spot for Rutgers fans, Tucker looked destined for stardom before his career was derailed by injuries. Unlikely to have cracked OSU's lineup, but a healthy Tucker would have been a difference maker at the other schools on this list.

OG John Glass Jr. - Syracuse, Michigan State, Auburn. I'm cheating a little. Glass was a heralded Syracuse-commit in 1999, but grades forced him to give up football a few years. BIG JOHN GLASS (to quote RutgersAl) eventually became a very good starter for us.

DT Luis Rivas - West Virginia, Auburn, Arkansas, Syracuse, Ole Miss, USF. Contributed heavily as an underclassman before mostly disappearing as a Senior.

TE Clark Harris - Syracuse, Auburn. Harris undoubtedly would have been a difference-maker for Syracuse at TE.

Others - RB Markis Facyson (NC State, Wake Forest, BC, Vandy, Auburn), P Joe Radigan (MSU), SS Jason Nugent (UConn, Syracuse, BC), TE Anthony Cali (BC, Iowa, Maryland)

2003 -

OT Pedro Sosa - Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia, Clemson, Tennessee, Purdue, Pitt, Wisconsin, KSU, UNC, Indiana. Schiano's second real game-changer after Leonard. Spectacular starter that will be in the NFL next year. According to mgoblog today, Georgia is starting a bunch of green freshmen, so he undoubtedly would help there, or at Maryland which lost Jared Gaither to the NFL recently.

TE Sam Johnson - BC, Syracuse, Pitt, Purdue, Maryland, WVU, Duke. Undoubtedly would have gone to BC. Great blocker who would be in a NFL camp right now fighting for a spot if not forced to retire due to concussions. Possibly could have been better than Clark Harris.

OG Mike Fladell - Syracuse, Michigan State, Georgia Tech. Project has turned into a solid starter. Getting NFL looks as a late-round pick next year.

OT Ron Green - South Carolina, Georgia, NC State. Or BIG RON GREEN as RutgersAl likes to call him. Actually was pretty good for us if any Miami fans are reading this, injuries and age worked against him in making a NFL roster.

LB Quintero Frierson - Auburn, Kentucky, USF, MSU. Injuries took much of his promise, but still a solid starter for 1 1/2 years.

DT David Harley - Cincy. Solid starter for two years.

WR "Windmill" Willie Foster - NC State, Kansas. Was a solid returner.

TE Chris Rudanovic - Indiana, Purdue. Transferred in from Indiana. Will be starting TE this year, blocking specialist.

WR James Townsend - Iowa, Syracuse, South Carolina, Pitt, WVU. Transferred from Iowa. Decent KR/depth player.

2004

QB Mike Teel - Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland. Rumored to have a PSU offer before Anthony Morelli continued. Wisconsin was the top contender for him. Would have helped UVA and UMD undoubtedly.

DE Jamaal Westerman - Boise State. Lightly recruited, but has turned into a very good player. Would make a very good BSU squad even better.

OL Mike Gilmartin - Clemson, South Carolina. Decent depth guy who might be in line to start next year. Has been caught in a numbers crunch.

DE Chenry Lewis - Iowa, Pittsburgh. Very highly-touted, but after a good freshman year at LB, was invisble last year at DE. Supposedly had a great camp, and has two more years after this. Lots of depth at DE hurts his chances.

OG Corey Hyman - Auburn, Pittsburgh, USF. Auburn seemed to be the top contender. They have a very young line, but Hyman has been plagued by injuries.

FB Jean Beljour - Syracuse, UConn. Mostly a bust, but it's hard to see how he wouldn't contribute in that terrible Syracuse backfield.

K Jeremy Ito - Missouri, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Minnesota. I think Ito is very overrated. His accuracy is poor, but he does have a booming leg. Quality kicking is hard to find however, and he'd probably help any of these teams. Said Missouri was his second choice, but wasn't really interested in playing far from either coast.

DT Mike Ziarnowski - UConn. Has been injured, recovering from chemotherapy.

TE Craig McGovern - MSU, Ohio State, Nebraska, NW, Purdue, USC, BC, Maryland. Transfer from MSU. Appears to be a bust, fourth on the depth chart as of this time.

OL Jeremy Zuttah - Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Iowa, Maryland, VT, Virginia, Syracuse, NC State, Clemson, BC, UNC, NW, South Carolina, Tennessee. The unquestioned jewel of the class. One of the greatest recruits to ever pick Rutgers. His *** rating on Rivals was a travesty and undoubtedly evidence of Mike Farrell's undue influence. Zuttah is a lock to be a mid-round pick in the NFL this year and is the greatest Rutgers lineman since All-American Alex Kroll in the sixties. Has combined with Sosa to be one of the best bookend combos in the country.

2005

LB Kevin Malast - Syracuse, Iowa, Ole Miss, Virginia, Nebraska, Duke, Penn State. Committed very early. Has been an average starter this year.

S Courtney Greene - Syracuse, Clemson. Syracuse commit in 2004, prepped for a year. Followed Ray Rice to Rutgers.

CB Jason McCourty - BC. Jason and twin brother Devin were very raw athletes in HS, who are both starting this year.

DE Gary Watts - Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, USF. Was initially a UNC verbal. Rotational player at DE.

OT Kevin Haslam - USF, Georgia Tech, Maryland, NC State. Was thought of as a silent verbal to USF before switching. Has started some at guard this year. Will definitely start at Left Tackle next year.

DT Vantrise Studivant - Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Kansas State, Wake Forest, Indiana. 3rd DT this year. Might start in 2008.

QB Jabulani Lovelace - Vanderbilt, Syracuse, Wisconsin, UConn. Backup QB. Would be a really good safety.

DB Davon Smart - UConn, Pitt. Has been in some dime packages this year.

WR Dennis Campbell - Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Pitt, USF. Great speed, but hands and a tough depth chart have limited his chances.

DE Jonathan Pierre-Etienne - Syracuse. Has been injured.

C Ryan Blaszczyk - UConn. Starting this year.

RB Ray Rice - Syracuse, Virginia, Penn State, Wisconsin, Arizona State. Famously decommitted from Syracuse.

WR Tiquan Underwood - Vanderbilt.

CB Leslie Jackman - Michigan State, Syracuse, UConn, Indiana. Late qualifier has been the nickel CB this year.

DT Peter Tverdov - Virginia. If he would have prepped, would have been a huge player in '06 class. Starting this year.

QB Dom Natale - Michigan State, LSU, Mizzou, Stanford, Louisville, Maryland, Miss. State. MSU transfer. Has been injured.

2006

S Zaire Kitchen - Iowa, Indiana. Hard hitting safety could start in 2008.

LB Ryan D'Imperio - West Virginia, BC, USF. Starting this year after coming back from a serious injury.

FB Andres Morales - NC State, Pitt, UConn, Mizzou. Has risen up the depth chart after position changes.

DE Matt Hardison - UConn, Cincy, Louisville, Syracuse, Virginia. Gray-shirted following an injury.

LB Blair Bines - Virginia, UNC. Has battled injuries. On two-deep currently.

DT Charlie Noonan - Indiana. Was beaten out for spot on two-deep this year by true freshmen.

FB Jack Corcoran - Penn State, Virginia Tech, Tennessee. Lost starting job to Morales. More of a WCO FB, when we wanted a mauler.

QB Chris Paul-Etienne - Illinois, Louisville, Minnesota, Michigan State. Hasn't seen field yet.

TE Jeff Minemyer - West Virginia, NC State, Duke, Louisville, Michigan State, Pitt, Syracuse, Illinois. Career might be over because of injury.

LB Antonio Lowery - NC State, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan State, BC, Pitt, South Carolina, Minnesota, Auburn. Gray-shirted. Seeing time on ST now.

TE Shamar Graves - BC, UConn, Syracuse, Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Maryland, Wisconsin. Seen a few snaps this year. Needs to put on weight.

WR Timmy Brown - Michigan State, USF, Louisville, LSU. Starting slot receiver.

RB Kordell Young - Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, BC, Pitt, Syracuse. Virginia decommit. Will start next year.

WR Kenny Britt - Illinois, Virginia, UNC, NC State, BC, Syracuse. One of the best players in college football. Illinois verbal for about five seconds until he realized that Zook was full of shit.

DE George Johnson - Virginia, Penn State. Virginia decommit. Starter as true freshman.

2007 and onward are even more impressive, but it wouldn't be appropriate to comment until many of them see the field.