- On Gary Nova to Pitt: No, he's not the next Tom Savage, but it's a blow because he's one of the two quarterbacks in the Northeast right now getting major conference interest, and there aren't that many of them to go around. Nova comes out of one of the top high school programs in New Jersey, making a public relations coup for Pitt. Rutgers badly needs to sign a good quarterback this year; not only to fill a glaring roster hole, but in order to help recruit other members of the class. QBs typically commit earlier than other positions, and their commitments are almost impossible to break.
- Nova's recruitment does illustrate a point argued here before in the past: Pitt is, far and away, RU's biggest recruiting rival on the trail. It makes sense: of the eight current Big East programs, Rutgers and Pittsburgh are in the best shape going forward. Both schools have a lot to offer in terms of academics and athletics. That's clear once everyone gets past any stupid message board squabbles or speculation about the Big Ten Network. Pitt beat Rutgers for two recruits last year after RU handily won most of the 2008 battles, so the jury's still out as to any direct competition.
- Rutgers is the only constant in New Jersey recruiting, with everyone else more cyclical and wavering. Virginia's new staff under Mike London seems solely concerned with their backyard, and Maryland is completely defanged with Ralph Friedgen's tenure coming to a close. Notre Dame too seems to be de-emphasizing the area under their new staff, and many Big Ten teams have been shut out entirely. On the other hand, Pitt used to mine players like Tony Siragusa and Craig Heyward, and is back after a long absence. Penn State is creeping back in too. Rutgers will get its share, I'm apprehensive about not having at least one more big local recruiter on the staff. Still think they'll do more than well with a loaded '11 class though.
Assorted early quick hits on the '11 Rutgers recruiting class
By On the Banks