Below are my initial, pre-camp (a ton can and will change over the next few weeks) guesses about how likely it is that each incoming freshman will take a redshirt this fall. I.e., 80% next to a player's name indicates that he will almost certainly be redshirted, not that he has an 80% chance of playing. I played around with that, and decided that it would be confusing either way (hopefully, I didn't invert one of the percentages myself).
QB Tom Savage - 50%. One of Savage or D.C. Jefferson will see playing time at some point in 2009, but no one quite knows who it will be at this point. It would be a colossal mistake for anyone to write off Jefferson this early, who has arguably has just as much potential as Savage. This percentage also reflects the reality that it's very difficult for a true freshman to step right in and take the reigns from day one. Savage will need to adjust on and off the field, and we don't know how polished he will look.
RB De'Antwan "Rocket" Williams - 20%. Running back is somewhat thin, numbers-wise, to begin with. Kordell Young's reoccuring knee issues throw a further wrench into this situation. With Young a question mark, and Mason Robinson at receiver, Rutgers needs a back that can take it to the house. Williams isn't nearly ready to be an ideal third down back, but he will almost certainly see time when Rutgers is looking for big plays at the position, and will be in the mix to return kicks.
FB Robert Joseph - 80%. Redshirt, barring depth issues at position.
WR Mark Harrison/Aaron Hayward/Mohamed Sanu - 66%. One of these players will make the team's top six, but it's anyone's guess as to who exactly it will be. Back on signing day, I would have pegged Hayward as a lock to see time. His chances have fallen through no fault of his own. It depends on which of the three shows the most in camp (which doesn't necessarily have any bearing on who turns into the better player down the road), and how the battle between sophomores Cooper, Poole, Stroud, and Wright plays out. Ideally, you want to redshirt any redundant players here. Everyone is really, really excited about Sanu after how he looked in the spring; and they should be, but I am equally looking forward to Harrison and Hayward. What a terrific trio. Darrell Givens making it to campus would further cement Sanu's chances of sticking here instead of safety.
TE Paul Carrezola - 10%. I think he will almost certainly play, and see plenty of action in multiple-TE sets.
TE Malcolm Bush - 80%. He will almost certainly redshirt, barring a terrific camp performance.
OL David Osei/Jamal Wilson - 100%. Osei needs major S/T work. Wilson doesn't have a chance to play this year with the team's depth on the line.
DE Andre Civil - 50%. Enrolling early helped. Sorie Bayoh is the projected fourth DE entering camp, but he hasn't made all that much noise to this point, and Civil looks to me like the team's strongside end of the future. Johnson starts there for now, but Rutgers has never really had that bull rushing, run stopping player at the position. Those guys always ended up moving to DT, with the exception of Val Barnaby. Rutgers took several bigger linemen in the class of '09 who could get a look in that role. Even if he doesn't make the two deep, those guys managed to get knicked up a lot, and Schiano loves to rotate his DL, so I think he has a decent chance to play.
DE Jamil Merrell - 90%. I always looked at him and his brother as more in the way of contributors two or three years down the line. He needs to bulk up a bit, and the team already has enough speed rushers off the edge.
DL Mike Larrow/Junior Solice - 70%. I'm big on Larrow too, but the staff may end up moving him to DT. Solice's position is also a question mark, and he didn't get Larrow's accolades battling through a major injury as a senior. Both of these players come from programs that have been very good to Rutgers in the past though, and those guys like Solice that land an offer on signing day seem to have had a way of working out in the past here.
DT Antwan Lowery - 99%. Anyone expecting him to make an immediate impact right away is just basing that off his press clippings, and hasn't watched his film or read first hand scouting reports. He is extremely raw and needs major conditioning work. People his size shouldn't be able to move like that, but it won't translate right away. Will either be Warren Sapp as a pass-rushing DT in three years, or a complete bust.
DT Isaac Holmes - 80%. Somewhat more polished than Lowery, but he too needs a year with Jay Butler IMO. Rutgers doesn't have any other nose tackles even approaching his size. I can imagine a rash of injuries forcing him into action as a backup, but it's unlikely. Some teams liked Holmes and/or Lowery on the offensive line, but last Mohamed Sanu Coach Schiano indicated that they would stay on defense.
LB Steve Beauharnais/Ka'Lial Glaud/Jamal Merrell - 70%. The numbers game with the upperclassmen works against this trio, although it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see one of them contribute on specials.
CB Logan Ryan - 20%. Note: this percentage doesn't take into account the Darrell Givens factor. Adding Givens would just give the Knights an embarrassment of riches at defensive back, to the point where they would be more comfortable with moving a player like Sanu to offense. Ryan is one of my favorite players in the class, and Givens coming in and looking even better could be one of the only things stopping Ryan from seeing time in nickel and dime packages, along with special teams work.
CB Quron Pratt - 70%. Pratt had a strong senior campaign, and still has untapped potential. It's probably for the best to let him redshirt though, unless he looks great in the coming weeks. Corner has a great deal of uncertainty after Devin McCourty; there's Bing and Anderson, and Jones/Rowe showed flashes in limited action last year. Like WR, there's a lot of numbers here in terms of scholarships, but not a lot of them have all that much experience.
CB/S Abdul Smith - 50%. Eh, I could go either way here. I look at Ryan as a purer cover corner. Smith has talent, not being quite at Ryan's level, but is more physical. If Sanu plays WR, he could shift to safety. It wouldn't be a huge surprise if Smith saw the field before Ryan, although I still like Ryan's chances better both now and down the road. At safety, he could see time early in more of a coverage role.
S Duron Harmon - 50%. It's getting tiring to say, but it's true; this class has outrageous depth at every area besides the offensive line. In any other Schiano class, there would be no question about Harmon burning his redshirt. Now? It, like most of these projections, is completely dependent on how the upperclassmen competition look in camp.