After the 2015 season, Rutgers loses Darius Hamilton and Djwany Mera, two huge contributors along the D-Line. If Kemoko Turay figures it all out and shows the ability to stop the run and play every down, he could well be gone to the NFL also.
So who is rising, and which D-Line recruits is Rutgers targeting?
Returning D-Line Players in 2016 (current roster)
- Jon Bateky;
- Sam Blue;
- Donald Bedell;
- Kemoko Turay;
- Jimmy Hogan;
- Sebastian Joseph;
- Quanzell Lambert;
- Miles Nash;
- Julian Pinnix-Odrick
- Eric Wiafe
- Kevin Wilkins
Incoming 2015 Recruits
- Jon Bateky (early enrollee)
- Marques Ford
- Kamaal Seymour
- Ron'Dell Carter (might play TE)
- Willington Previlon
Rutgers seems to be in good shape with edge rushers and D-Ends, such as Turay, Lambert, and Nash. Marques Ford is also likely to make an immediate impact as a pass-rusher this year and in 2016.
The question will be the interior of the line. Joseph, Wiafe and Wilkins, listed at 285, 270 and 290 pounds respectively, are likely to be steady contributors inside. Kamaal Seymour, who pledged to Rutgers despite a late push by Coach Hype and the Nitty Kitties, has the size and frame to be a big contributor as well, and hopes are high for players like Hogan, Bateky, and Previlon.
Rutgers has offers out to a large number of defensive linemen. Here are some of Rutgers prime targets (all star ratings and position designations courtesy of Rivals):
- Ron Johnson (4*, Camden, NJ)
- Khalid Kareem (4*, Farmington Hills, MI)
- Karamo Dioubate (4*, Philadelphia)
- Quayshon Alexander (3*, DePaul -- Note: may want to play LB in college)
- Jamal Holloway (3*, Camden)
- Tymir Oliver (3*, Philadelphia)
- Shaka Toney (3*, Philadelphia)
Rutgers is in good shape with Johnson, Holloway, Dioubate and Oliver. Kareem visited in April, and told Todderick Hunt he was "pleasantly surprised." Alexander, Kiy Hester's half brother, appears likely to be a Cornhusker, according to this article.
Paramus Catholic's Rashan Gary is the prime target at Defensive Takcle, for Rutgers and just about every other school in the country. Rutgers is in good position with Gary, who has taken multiple visits to Rutgers, but the competition for his services could not be more stout. His recruitment will likely play out well into the fall or beyond. Other offerees:
- Ellison Jordan (4*, Baltimore, MD)
- Aaron Thompson (3*, Fort Lauderdale, FL)
- Ulises De Los Santos (Union City, NJ -- Note: De Los Santos reportedly wants to play defense, but Rutgers might be recruiting him only for the O-Line)
Coach Flood has shown a willingness to explore the JUCO ranks and 5 year transfers to fill needs. Don't be surprised if he finds a big nose tackle transfer to beef up the interior D-Line this next year and next.