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12/23 Recruiting Update

The past week started off with a bang, with the Merrell twins verballing to Rutgers.

"We're done visiting. No more visits. Rutgers is where we're going," said Jamil Merrell.

There was more good news, as defensive tackle Antwan Lowery also committed to Rutgers.

Palmyra's Quron Pratt verballed to Rutgers on Saturday.

Pratt made an unofficial visit yesterday to Rutgers and told the coaching staff of his decision before going home.

"I liked everything about Rutgers, what Greg Schiano has done. Plus it's close to home, and my family, who have always supported me, can get to my games," Pratt said last night.

Pratt said he would make his official visit to Rutgers on Jan. 23.

Besides Rutgers, Pratt also made official visits to Delaware and Pittsburgh. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Pratt was recruited as a defensive back, although he was told that Rutgers wouldn't discount the idea of playing him at wide receiver.

Scout had an article about Shawney Kersey on Friday, and the header implies that he could take a few visits. There's always the package deal with Hodges angle, but I feel ok about him for the time being.

A couple names of note from the Delaware all-state football teams: Justin Brown, Malcolm Bunche, Jamil Merrell, and Duron Harmon made the first team. Jamaal Jackson (2010 junior) , Jamil Merrell, and Gifford Timothy (2010) made the second team. Malcolm Yowk (2010) made the third team. Keith Sargeant's article about Rutgers expanding into "New Delaware" contains some promising news on Bunche (who did not make his trip to Maryland). Rutgers is a player with Justin Brown, but I think his fate is closely linked with Kersey's.

Mixed news on the Oday Aboushi front:

"I cancelled my visit," he said. "I don’t plan to go to Maryland now."

What is next for Aboushi?

"Rutgers will probably be my next visit, sometime soon in early January, maybe January 9th if I don’t commit before that."

The No. 4 prospect in New York has one school standing out at the moment.

"Right now I’m probably focused on Virginia," he said. "They have a great program a lot of stuff going on. They are a really great place.

Jordan Hill has received a PSU offer, and it wouldn't surprise me if he ended up there.

In a response to last week's report about Syracuse hiring the Nassau CC coach, the Canes beatwriter for the Miami Herald speculates that Andrew Tiller may not want to play far from home.

Tiller (6-6, 320) recently visited nearby Rutgers, but told UM coaches he plans on visiting Miami in late January. Ultimately, this could end up the same way Watts did, with Tiller opting to stay closer to home. If not Rutgers, then possibly Syracuse, which is close to hiring Tiller's JUCO coach as an assistant.

Another Nolan MacMillan article doesn't mention Rutgers at all. He just came back from GT.

Could the Pratt news steer Ricardo Dixon away from Rutgers?

DB Ricardo Dixon (6-0 175) of Hollywood, FL is still committed to South Florida and says he is firm. Though he committed early, Dixon still planned on taking all of his official visits. He says that USC backed off of him after his commitment to USF and so he will not take a visit to Columbia. Dixon has already taken an official to Ole Miss on December 4th and loved his visit. "The coaching staff and players are one big family," he said. "The area is pretty nice and not too big so you really can't get into too much trouble up there. I could deal with that." Dixon says that Ole Miss, Rutgers, and West Virginia never stopped recruiting him and that is why he will visit each school. He goes to USF on January 10th, West Virginia the following week and Rutgers the week after that. Dixon confirmed his commitment but says he wants to make sure of his decision by seeing what else is out there. All four schools have visited him in Hollywood this month.

Dec 18-Jan 3rd is a dead period for recruiting as per NCAA rules. News on that front might not get back into full swing until the middle of January. The coaching staff can still call recruits, but is barred from in-person contact.