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Assorted early quick hits on the '11 Rutgers recruiting class

  • 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.
  • It sure seems like every Savon Huggins article linked here has something positive to say about Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights haven't landed any players out of St. Peter's Prep in recent memory, and they have at least three big FBS prospects this year. Not only would signing Huggins break that trend, but he'd be right up there with Anthony Davis for the biggest recruiting gets in Rutgers history. I'd like to see the process here drag out until signing day. Not only to give Huggins time to be sure of his decision, but make competitors like Penn State move on to lesser targets.
  • Everyone in the country wants Angelo Mangiro. Between roster need on the offensive line and talent, he's probably the player I want more than any other class of '11 recruit. I can see why Penn State would be an obstacle here, but Ohio State? They already have a bunch of OL commits, and their OL coach is one of the worst in the country. Josue Matias and Shane Mertz would be one hell of a start to putting OL recruiting back on track in a big way.
  • Now, it's impossible to confirm every offer the staff supposedly sends out. Some may be only verbal, or contingent on other factors. Rutgers does seem to be more aggressive in sending out offers this year, and they seem to be concentrating on three positions: WR/ATH, OL, and DL. If a class is rich in certain areas, my preference is to go for the best players available and sort where signees will play later.
  • With a strong local recruiting year, not every player can be offered. If you look back at every Kyshoen Jarrett article linked here, he basically keeps saying that Rutgers and Penn State are far and away his top two choices. Greg Schiano is obsessed with speed, so I can understand qualms with offering a corner that runs a 4.6 at combines. Jarrett could always come in and earn an offer at camp in June like Abdul Smith did. With PSU finally relenting with an offer yesterday, he probably ends up there.
  • Quinton Alston's a harder nut to crack. He and his family are really high on Rutgers, and the recruiting sites have Alston sporting an impressive offer list. Not knowing what the staff thinks of Alston, all I can really do is look at three LBs committed and speculate. With limited scholarships, sometimes you can't go after every good player. This is the one recruit it would have been nice to offer though. Even the best staffs don't have perfect track records. If he turns into a player elsewhere, then Rutgers will face second guessing. Alston isn't a Dion Lewis-type bursting out of nowhere.