Recruiting is about relationships and stability, and Rutgers is on its fifth offensive coordinator in five years. Not good. Scarlet Knights fans hope Ralph Friedgen is the right man for the job, and will hold the post for a few years at least. There are other new faces on the offensive side of the ball, so as recruiting season and spring football get revved up, let's see how the offensive coaches stack up as recruiters.
The Young Gun -- Anthony Campanile, Tight Ends Coach
Tenure at RU: 2012-present. Started as a defensive graduate assistant, promoted to TE Coach in 2013
Recruiting Territory: North Jersey
Key 2015 Recruits in Territory: Steven Gonzalez, Daiquan Kelly, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Tommy Hatton, Joe Giles-Harris, Daivon Ellison, Mike Dare, Saleem Brightwell, too many more to list.
Background: Former Scarlet Knight safety and linebacker (01-04); Don Bosco Prep LB coach and later OC.
Notes: "Coach Camp" is one of RU's top recruiters, even though (or maybe because) he is one of the younger members of the staff. His background with perennial Rutgers fave Don Bosco, his contacts and experience around North Jersey, and the sheer number of key prospects in the top half of the state make the pairing between Camp and this territory a natural fit. Kyle Flood may literally be staking his job on how well the young TE coach recruits this year.
The Grizzled Flyover-Country Veteran -- Mitch Browning, Offensive Line Coach
Tenure at RU: Signed in December. Still has that new coach smell.
Recruiting Territory: Delaware, DC Area, Ohio
Key 2015 Recruits in Territory: Tim Settle, 5* DL (Manassas, VA); Marcus Lewis, 4* DB/ATH (D.C.); Jalen Christian, 4* DB/ATH (Damascus, MD); Jabari Greenwood, 4* WR (D.C.); Quadree Henderson, 3* RB (Wilmington, DE); Eric Assoua, DL (D.C.); Sam Morrison, CB (D.C.); Anthony McKee 4* LB (Columbus, OH)
Background: 34 years of coaching experience overall, including stops at six BCS programs and appearances in 11 bowl games (seven in 10 years at Minnesota).
Notes: Browning does not have many ties to Rutgers traditional recruiting footprint, but he should be able to use his ample B1G experience to pull a few great players out of the D.C. area, Ohio and the upper mid-west. Stealing Anthony McKee (offered Feb. 7) from Urban Meyer's backyard would be a major coup. Browning was a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award in 2003, which is presented annually to the nation’s top assistant coach, for his role as an architect of the Minnesota offense compiled a school and Big Ten record of 6,430 yards in total offense.
The Florida Panhandler -- Norries Wilson, Running Backs Coach
Tenure at RU: Named RB coach in 2012, promoted to Assistant Head Coach in 2013.
Recruiting Territory: Eastern PA, Northern Florida
Key 2015 Recruits in Territory: John Reid, 4* CB (Philadelphia); Shareef Miller, 3* DL (Philadelphia); Freddie Simmons, WR (Bethlehem, PA); Nassir Bonner, 3* RB (Philadelphia); Jay Stocker 4* S (Coatesville, PA); DJ Moore 3* Ath (Philadelphia)
Background: Wilson has been a college coach since 1989 when he started at Bucknell. Before coming to Rutgers, he was the head coach at Columbia from 2006 to 2011 following six years as OL coach and then offensive coordinator at UConn.
Notes: Wilson is a strong recruiter, and does particularly well in Eastern Pennsylvania. He was a big part of keeping 2014 recruit Dre Boggs committed to Rutgers throughout Boggs' last minute flirtations with Wisconsin. Rutgers does not appear to have many offers out to kids in talent-rich northern Florida yet, but the Knights are always good for a few Sunshine State stunners every year, and Wilson has a good chance of reeling them in.
The Newb -- Ben McDaniels, Receivers Coach
Tenure at RU: Mint condition, still in the wrapper. Hired in February.
Recruiting Territory: Ohio and Midwest
Key 2015 Recruits in Territory: Anthony McKee 4* LB (Columbus, OH); Drayton Carlberg 3* OL (Minneapolis, MN); Jashon Cornell 5* LB/DE (St. Paul, MN); Datrice Mulsumo, ATH (Champlin, MN); Court Zeppernick, OL (Dublin, OH)
Background: McDaniels' experience is mostly at the NFL level, where he served as an offensive assistant for the Denver Broncos in 2009 and 2010, and did a similar job in Tampa Bay last year, working with WR and QB for Greg Schiano. He was the offensive coordinator and QB coach at Columbia in 2012.
Notes: McDaniels is a complete unknown as a recruiter. High school kids with dreams of the League love to hear from coaches who have NFL experience, especially if that coach's big brother is Patriots offensive coordinator and former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels. His relative youth likely works to his advantage as well, because at 33, he can still relate to kids in high school. Ben is well-connected in Ohio football circles, so he will be instrumental in broadening the Scarlet Knights recruiting footprint into B1G Country.
The Fridge, aka Big Red -- Ralph Friedgen, Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach
Tenure at RU: Pried from his retirement in February, and thank the deity of your choosing for that.
Recruiting Territory: No specific geographic territory. He will definitely handle QB recruiting, and will get involved with other offensive recruits, as well as any prospect who needs the VIP treatment to close the deal.
Background: The Fridge needs little introduction, but here goes: Head Coach at Maryland from 2000 to 2010, and prior to that, he was the OC at Maryland and Georgia Tech, as well as a stint with the San Diego Chargers in the same role. He was an assistant coach in various capacities and locales for 32 years before taking the head job with the Turtles.
Notes: As an offensive teacher and recruiter, there aren't many better than Friedgen. Coordinators do not generally do much day-to-day recruiting, and are often used more as "closers." Friedgen is probably going to be used that way. In addition to his decades of experience and stature as a coach, Friedgen brings a nice backstory to our growing rivalries with the Nitty Kitties and Terps. He was Mr. Miyagi to James Franklin's pimple-faced Ralph Macchio, and his coaching tree also includes Terps OC Mike Locksley and former PSU coach Bill O'Brien, possible selling points for kids choosing between the three schools. "You like what that shiny-headed chump in the blue windbreaker has to say son? I taught him everything he knows!"
What do you think of the offensive coaching staff? Do they have what it takes to bring in the next generation of Scarlet Knight superstars? Let us know in the comments.
Stay tuned for a post on the Defensive and Special Teams coaches next week.