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1/26 Recruiting Update

Syracuse linebacker commit Malcolm Cater has flipped to Rutgers. After our baffling loss last season, it's nice for the coaching staff to lay down the law and show Doug Marrone and co. who's boss. SU assistant John Anselmo may have vowed to take back the Big Apple; not only is that not happening, but Rutgers pulled Jordan Thomas out of Binghamton this year. Geography counts for a prospect from Long Island, and, ahem, Rutgers isn't going anywhere. What's really telling is that for all the chest thumping, SU again appears to be getting off to a slow start with next year's class. Hopefully they don't lure Kevin Rogers to be their next OC.

There was one other major factor in his recruitment and why he initially committed to Syracuse which is all over the premium sites. Let's hope the commit sticks. Not that Rutgers snagged Cater merely to antagonize the Orange though; he's a pretty good prospect in his own right, and sorely needed with incoming LB Sam Bergen's recovery from knee surgery a major concern, and Dave Milewski a candidate to switch positions. This cannot be understated; Cater's good.

So why didn't he receive more interest? He does have some off field concerns. I recommend anyone with access to Newsday's site read the Sep. 7 story "Riverhead's Cater finds redemption at Ranch" (and "Riverhead's Cater is co-winner of Hansen Award." from Dec. 9). They're available if you subscribe to Optimum Online, or through libraries. Cater would have otherwise been a much higher profile recruit.

Moving on, MD WR Brandon Coleman has officially eliminated the Cuse.

"I just told Syracuse no thank you," Coleman explained. "They were in the mix but it came down to distance and they were kind of too far from home.

"It’s between Maryland and Rutgers. I have my last home visit Wednesday night with Maryland, and that’s probably it until Signing Day."

SC RB Mustafa Greene is another important skill position player left on the board.

Greene took his official visit to N.C. State last weekend. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. before moved south in elementary school, and he still has family there – thus the interest in Rutgers. However, the Scarlet Knights’ depth chart is much murkier, as both their top backs are rising juniors.

"It’s pretty much down to those two schools," Hanna said. "He sees an opportunity to get on the field and make an early impact with those two, and those two have been on him the longest."

There was another piece on Greene Monday, with some weird information.

Greene is currently torn by what he is being told by the two programs. Rutgers has said he would come in and start even though the Scarlet Knights already have eight running backs on the roster and commitments from two others.

Rutgers had...five running backs on the roster before Brooks transferred, and one is a walk-on. They currently only have one RB commitment in Casey Turner, although Rivals mistakenly lists Marcus Thompson and Jordan Thomas as RBs when they're projected to play other positions. I'm not going to be happy if this plays out like with what happened with Parker Cantey a few years ago, where Rutgers only had three LB commits, but Greg Robinson convinced Cantey that they had eight because Rivals listed several commits at the wrong position.

As far as Turner goes, I think it's very good news that Gio Bernard decommitted from Notre Dame, because he could now end up at UNC. They're desperate for help at RB, with a depth chart about as thin as N.C. State's. Keep that in mind for this coming September. I'll take having to play Bernard if it means we keep Turner. They probably lead UCF for Brandon Gainer too.

The Rivals database is now showing an offer out to Texas LS Trevor Gillette.

FL ATH Jeremy Deering decided to take his final visit to Rutgers over South Carolina. Smart money's still on FSU though.

During an official visit to Rutgers this past weekend, Deering said players and coaches told him "it’s a good time to break away and see other places."

And the night before his trip to Rutgers, Deering sat at Lee Roy Selmon’s, listening as South Carolina assistant G.A. Mangus tried to convince him to change his schedule and make the Gamecocks his final official visit.

"In the end, you listen to everything they all say, but you’ve just got to do your own research and make what’s the best decision for you," Deering said.

FL DB Rashad Knight was another weekend visitor, so check out this mgoblog thread speculating about him. He's eliminated Ole Miss and won't take his visit there, and may be favoring RU over Michigan. WR Ace Sanders is leaning to South Carolina.

There's a lot of good early news with the deep 2011 class. According to Rivals and Scout, offers are now out to 2011 prospects ATH Bill Belton (Winslow, so RU has the pipeline going for them), PA TE Tyler Kroft (same school as Taj Alexander), RB Ben Martin, and Orlando DB Corian Hamilton, with more soon to follow in coming weeks. There's a rumor going around about Brooklyn ATH Brandon "Bam" Reddish picking up an offer, although I don't have any way of confirming that.

Schianocopter status: engaged.

Timber Creek has two juniors who figure to be highly recruited - running back/wing back Damiere Byrd and linebacker Quinton Alston.

The travels continue through South Jersey.

Long Branch CB Miles Shuler has picked up offers from BC and Pitt. Here's an article giving the Penn State slant on RB Savon Huggins and S Sheldon Royster from St. Peter's Prep. VA DB Ronnie Van Dyke claims no early favorites. MD DT Vincent Croce visited RU for Junior Day.

Legendary Brick HC Warren Wolf will come out of retirement to coach at Lakewood next season.

Watchlist: Giles Chapman, Rob Forst, Nick Law, Jephette Matilus, and Hank McCloud.