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Rutgers Football Recruiting: How Does 2016 Fill Out?

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Rutgers is off to a strong start in the class of 2016, with four very solid young men already committed. Let's look at how the remaining 80% of the class might fill in.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers has four terrific young men committed for the class of 2016.  Ted Field and Nick Krimin are behemoth building blocks on the offensive line. Jon Pollock is a stud linebacker, who was named the captain of his team in the International Bowl at the end of January.  That team was AMERICA. And Mo Jabbie is a talented and popular Jersey wide receiver. They are all leaders.

When Rutgers accepts a commitment as early in the process as these four committed, it indicates the player is at or near the very top of Rutgers internal big-board at a particular position. And we have never had four commitments by March 1 since Kyle Flood has been head coach, or for many years before that. We only had two commitments by March 1 in '14 and '15, and most of Schiano's classes had one at most.

So we are off to a really good start. Also, the level of talent that has been on campus in recent weeks, in some cases multiple times, is ridiculous.

But how will this class finish? Skeptics and haters will point to the Great Collapse of 2014 and accurately say a tremendous class turned to ashes before signing day. Finishing well matters. Kyle Flood finished the 2015 class well, and hopes to build on that momentum. Here's a look at two possible scenarios: one in which it all clicks right (starting with the QB) and Rutgers gets most of its top targets; and another scenario in which Rutgers only pulls some of the top talent it is going after.

In each case, I will assume Rutgers is only taking 23 commitments, a somewhat smaller than normal class.

Scenario A: Light the Fires and Kick the Tires

QB - Jarrett Guarantano (Bergen Catholic)
WR - Mo Jabbie (South Brunswick)
WR - Ahmir Mitchell (Cedar Creek)
WR - Kelvin Harmon (Palmyra)
WR - Brad Hawkins (Camden)
RB - Abdul Adams (Washington D.C.)
TE - Naseir Upshur (Philadelphia)
TE - Jovani Haskins (Bergenfield)
OG - Ted Field (Glen Mills, PA)
OT - Nick Krimin (St. Joe's Metuchen)
OG - Jordan Johnson (Jacksonville, FL)
OG - Will Fries (Cranford)
LB - Jonathan Pollock (Orlando, FL)
LB - Cameron Brown (Potomac, MD)
LB - Rashawn Battle (Hawley, PA)
DT - Rashan Gary (Paramus Catholic)
DT - Ellison Jordan (Baltimore, MD)
DE - Ron Johnson (Camden)
DE - Karamo Dioubate (Philadephia)
DE - Quayshon Alexander (DePaul)
DB - Jordan Fuller (Old Tappan)
DB - Patrick Johnson (Potomac, MD)
DB - Phil Campbell (South Brunswick)

Uh. . .yeah I'd sign up for that.

Scenario B: I Guess Other Schools Can Have a Few Great Players Too

QB - Anthony Russo (Warminster,PA)
WR - Mo Jabbie (South Brunswick)
WR - Kelvin Harmon (Palmyra)
WR - Gene Coleman (Bergen Catholic)
WR - Donald Stewart (Paramus Catholic)
RB - Trey Sneed (Fleming Island, FL)
TE - Ray Marten (Brooklyn, NY)
OG - Ted Field (Glen Mills, PA)
OT - Nick Krimin (St. Joe's Metuchen)
OT - Liam Smith (Red Bank Catholic)
OT - Michael Clark (Exton, PA)
OT - Thomas Lopez (Middletown South)
LB - Jonathan Pollock (Orlando)
LB - DyMelle Parker (Camden)
LB - Rashawn Battle (Hawley PA)
DE - Tymir Oliver (Philadelphia)
DE - Shaka Toney (Philadelphia)
DE - Jamal Holloway (Camden)
DT - Tyrell Chavis (Garden City, NY)
DB - Phil Campbell (South Brunswick)
DB - Benny Walls (Philadelphia)
DB - Terrell Vassel (DePaul)
DB - Timothy Poindexter (Bronx, NY)

Still a very solid class you can build a program with, even without some of the high-end names.

*     *     *

I honestly don't see a way Rutgers does much worse than top 35 or so in the country in recruiting, and it could do much better. NJ, MD and Philly area are loaded this year, and Rutgers is doing well with many of those guys. WR is particularly stacked - Rutgers has made about twenty offers to receivers (some of whom can play DB too). They will likely take two, or maybe three, more of those guys. It was hard to narrow these lists to reasonable guesses, especially at the receiver position, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out. One receiver commitment could start a run (and Kelvin Harmon will be on campus again this week . . .).

Hopefully this shows that even if Rutgers misses on its top 2 QBs, all hope is not lost. I actually really like Anthony Russo's highlight tape, and think he would be a fine choice at QB.

Sound off Rutgers fans. Am I too optimistic? Who did I leave off? Who did I put on the wrong list?