With Jason Baum announcing on Twitter yesterday that Coach Schiano's spring presser will be held on March 15, it's worth quickly assessing where the Rutgers football roster stands at the moment numbers-wise. After combing through the official roster on ScarletKnights.com several times, it appears to be currently listing 64 returning players on scholarship. That is assuming that no former walk-ons have earned scholarships, which may not be the case. Apologies in advance if this figure is still somehow wrong.
As of now there's no way of anticipating any future transfers (or losses due to injury), although the numbers always thin out after spring practice. Unfortunately, players get hurt or fall down the depth chart. Last month Rutgers announced that 24 future student athletes had signed letters of intent with the program. If each player makes it to campus (five are already enrolled in C Dallas Hendrikson, DE Djwany Mera, DT Ken Kirksey, DB Johnathan Aiken, and P Anthony DiPaula), that would mean being three scholarships over the NCAA-mandated limit of 85 barring further attrition.
For those looking ahead to '12, Rutgers at the moment only appears to have twelve rising seniors, although it's worth pointing out that those numbers have a way of jumping too. Early prediction: there will be around 15 ships seen as "open" next January, RU will sign 18-19 with the junior class looking string, and everyone will be rehashing this discussion a year from now. That's the way things usually seem to work out. Teams usually take more than anticipated, and some level of attrition always happens.
Last April, after spring practice, Rutgers was even higher over the limit. Being only three over at this time is hardly unprecedented in Piscataway or at other programs. In comparison this year's total is a minor hindrance, and should not be much of a concern. True, there are a handful of trouble spots and question marks. Rutgers has an awful lot of talented wide receivers. It has a glut of numbers at the offensive line too. Correspondingly, there are depth issues up front on defense. Schiano's MO of emphasizing team speed on defense would lead to plenty of speculation about forthcoming position changes to that effect if specific moves were not already heavily rumored. Further analysis will be possible once the new roster goes up for public viewing.