I spoke with 2015 WR commit Rashad Blunt to get his impressions before his official visit and signing day.
How did your senior season go?
It was up and down. Two weeks before the season, my QB tore his ACL. We thought it was an MCL, but it wasn't. He missed three games, and we started 0-3, but when he came out we destroyed our rival. He is very mobile usually, but his injury caused him to play differently. I personally had more yards but fewer touchdowns than I did the year before. I had a few games over 100 yards, which was a goal of mine, because I had never done that before.
Are you excited for signing day? Do you have anything special planned?
I am really excited. I can't wait to be a Scarlet Knight. I am doing a signing ceremony at my school with my teammates, and then another one with my 7 on 7 team.
How often do you speak to Rutgers coaches? Who do you have the most contact with?
I talk to Rutgers coaches pretty much daily. I have the most contact with Coach McDaniels, because he is going to be my position coach. We always talk football, like two guys who love the game this much always seem to end up doing: how to get open, route combinations, that kind of thing. I think he is a phenomenal, outstanding coach, and I can't wait to start working with him. When I visited in June, we spent some time watching some of his NFL film, and he was telling me things he used to work on with Vincent Jackson and the Bucs. He just has the "it factor" and was a big reason I chose RU. I am close to Coach Norries Wilson too - he came down here to visit us, and my family liked him a lot. I talk to Coach Flood pretty often too, and Coach Rossi. They definitely put in the work to make me feel comfortable all the time.
Why did you choose Rutgers?
There are lots of reasons, but what it comes down to is that when I visited with my dad in June, I just knew it was the right place. It had everything I want from a football program and a college, and it just felt right. After I committed, a bunch of other schools came around and tried to recruit me, like Indiana, but they backed off when they realized I was really happy with Rutgers and was not going to change my mind. I don't have any plans to take any other visits or anything, and I would sign already if I could.
Rashad rocking a Block R while coaching his youth team. Photo provided by Rashad Blunt, used with permission.
What are you looking forward to on your official visit next weekend?
Just meeting my freshmen brothers. I am in a group chat with some of the guys, like Nakia Griffin, Ron'Dell Carter, Mike Dare, Mo Jabbie and a few others. I am really close with those guys, but I have never met them in person because I couldn't make it up for a game this season. My mom and sister are coming up too, and I want them to see why I committed to RU. Also, when I committed in June, there were no students on campus, so I'm excited to see what it looks like when everybody is back. I am looking forward to checking out New York City too.
Did you think about enrolling early?
By the time my recruitment really picked up steam, it was kind of too late to take the classes I would need to take to graduate early. I talked about it with some of the Rutgers coaches, and they told me it's not for everybody, because when you get to campus you might be one of 4 or 5 new guys on the team, and it's not the same as when everybody gets there in the summer, because you can figure out the campus and everything together in a bigger group. So I thought about it but it wasn't really a good option for me. I am confident in my skills and I know I'll be fine when I get to camp. I train really hard with the guy my brother trained with before the NFL combine, so I will be ok without enrolling early.
Did you consider going to Clemson like your dad?
I grew up a Clemson fan because my dad was a running back there, but even if they offered I wouldn't commit there, because I want to make my own way. I also would not really consider Middle Tennessee where my brother played, for the same reason.
As a Floridian, are you concerned about New Jersey winters?
Cold is not a problem for me. In Jacksonville at night sometimes it goes down to the 30s, so I can handle it. Plus, I looked at the schedule and it looks like most of the games are when its warmer anyway, and only a few got cold last year.
Which receiver position do you think you will play?
I see myself as more of an outside receiver than a slot guy, but I am going to learn all the positions so I am ready to play everywhere and anywhere they need me as a receiver.
What are your strengths as a receiver?
Definitely blocking. I love blocking. To me, blocking hard is letting the coach know you want the ball, because you are hustling. My route-running is also a strength. Route running is not just getting open - there's a big difference between just getting open and scoring touchdowns.
What areas are you working to improve?
I am never satisfied, and always want to get better at everything. If I had to pick one, I would say I most want to improve how I get off the ball. I like when corners press me, but but big strong corners are tough, and I always want to get stronger and be able to out-muscle them at the line. To do that, body control is crucial - otherwise you might tip over, so you need to know about leverage.
Are you excited Leonte Carroo is coming back?
I was so excited when I heard Leonte is coming back. It is a huge opportunity for me to learn from and work with a guy like him who is going to be in the NFL for sure. I wasn't surprised he is coming back though - I know he is the kind of guy who wants to win championships, and he wants to finish his business at Rutgers.
Did you watch the bowl game?
Definitely. I watched all the games this year. I loved to see them dominate at the bowl game. I was really hoping they got into the Taxslayer Bowl in Jacksonville though, so I could have went to the game.
Do you know what you want to major in?
I want to double major in political science and journalism if I can do it. I really like to write, and right now I am writing my own story, from being a scrawny ninth grader through my recruitment. Sort of like a biography. I'm up to about 80 pages or so. Writing has always been a passion for me.
Rutgers usually seems to end up pulling a last minute surprise from Florida near signing day. Who should we be watching?
Chris Barr. He is a receiver committed to Utah right now, but we have to get him to RU. He is a crazy athlete. I have also mentioned a few friends to the Rutgers coaches, and they have contacted a few of them.
Chris Barr plays your position. Do you mind if Rutgers is recruiting other receivers?
I welcome all competition. I definitely don't mind if Rutgers is recruiting other good receivers. Competing and playing against the best people is the only way you get better, so I never back down from a challenge like that, because I am confident in my skills, and I want to get better.
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Big thank you to Rashad for chatting with On the Banks, and best of luck to a great kid beginning his career at RU.