The Rutgers football staff finished off their late flurry of activity with two new verbal commits on signing day. The first, Jacksonville RB Casey Turner, re-affirmed his commitment to Rutgers with an assist from divine intervention. Coach Schiano's strong faith pays off once again.
"I prayed about it a lot and God told me to make the right choice," Turner said Wednesday morning at a school-gathering for him and three teammates who also accepted and signed scholarship offers. "My intuition kept saying Rutgers, Rutgers, Rutgers.
"If football didn’t work out there, I’d have a great degree from there. It’s a program on the rise that I hope can win a national championship. I’ll study some kind of business technology or communication, something like that."
It can be hard saying no to Butch Davis, but God has to be the ultimate recruiting coordinator, no? I think Turner is a fair bit better than the other Jacksonville-native back in the class, Jawan Jamison, so this is a very positive development.
Then, the Scarlet Knight continued to hit Northeast Florida hard with the addition of Ken Kirksey (and his reputed eligibility concerns). The trouble is with these big linemen is that they're just so few of them; the true blue chippers at the position like a Sharrif Floyd or Will Campbell or few and far between. That's why teams have to roll the dice on dogs like Richard Ash to see if they pan out. Recruiting and developing QBs and DTs is always a major challenge. Kirksey on his decision:
"All the schools had something I liked, things that were different and some things that were alike. It was crazy," Kirksey said. "When I took my official visit to Rutgers I felt that family that I have here with this team. Coach (Greg) Schiano, he tells you real things. He’s telling me he will stick with me to the end."
With 24 signees, will there be enough ships available?. No scholarship estimates had projected anywhere close to that number. The staff does always hold a few in their back pocket. There are questions about a handful of these prospects qualifying, and it's unknown at this point which, if any, players will no longer count against the 85 limit because of injury.
There's also the matter of signing what's believed to be six wide receivers in the class. Positional switches are one possibility, but there doesn't appear to be any room in the backfield (even with a thin depth chart of returning starters), and limited room in the secondary. Brandon Coleman (something you don't see very often - a Maryland coach called Coleman the one who got away) certainly has the height to get a look at tight end, and it'd make sense to give another signee such as Jeremy Deering an opportunity to replace Sanu in the Wildcat package next year.
I'll have more thoughts soon, after I have a chance to watch the presser video, but here are some other links of interest. Holding off on the non-signing day stuff for today. Meanwhile, sit and wonder where exactly that weird post on Scarlet Scuttlebutt went down the memory hole
"I've heard Chas telling me they will play South Carolina in 2011. I've heard Torian tell Marcus they would beat them. It's just that camaraderie they have with each other, but they will compete against each other," he said. "Words can't describe what they mean to this program and (have) done for this program. Hopefully now they are reaping the benefits from it."
"I told the coaches at Rutgers, 'You're getting a gem," Fenton said. "I'll put my reputation as a football coach on the line on that they're getting a great football player and a great person. ... That's how sure I am."
``I fell in love with Rutgers when I went up there,'' Glashen said. ``I was most impressed with the fact that they graduate almost all of their athletes.''
"It feels like heaven on Earth," commented Teresa Waters, whose son Lorenzo signed to play and study at Rutgers.
He compared himself to 6-2, 215-pound Rutgers standout Mohamed Sanu, who played multiple positions this past year, including quarterback in the Wildcat, wide receiver and running back.
"I'm smaller than him, but faster," Johnson said by phone.