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Rutgers Football: Boom or bust on recruits?

Recruiting is not a science. It isn't exact. But it is interesting.

Not a bad finish for the 22nd best recruit out of NJ
Not a bad finish for the 22nd best recruit out of NJ
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

If we could lock down New Jersey's best high school players, Rutgers would be unstoppable.

Ever heard that line?  Like maybe in every other story here?

Recently, one of our readers, wrote a comment in our Q & A with SB Nation's Bud Elliott, pointing out that NJ Advance Media's Dan Duggan had done a review of a prior recruiting class (2013)...and it didn't turn out exactly as the experts predicted:

the ledger ran a series on the big name big star nj hs recruits

and most were busts.

and many of the non-busts came to RU

I am far from convinced Flood can't get it done. Titles? I'll take consistently competitive and the APR rate.

Integrity is a hard sell in America

by formerRUtripleJumper on Jul 22, 2015

So, I thought how common is that?  How often do stars fizzle? I went to Rivals' 2009 class, to look at New Jersey's Top Ten recruits.  These players would now be out of eligibility and actually would be at least a year out of college.  The results?

Who did Rutgers get?

Out of the Top Ten, the Knights got the #3 player, DT Isaac Holmes out of Hoboken. He was a 4* recruit and lettered three seasons.  He showed promise early in his college career, but faded down the stretch. He was quick and athletic, but injury prone and never really made a strong impact.

There was one other Top Ten product committed to Rutgers, some kid named Logan Ryan at #9.  There were two Top 20 players off Rivals list that also committed to Rutgers:  TE Malcolm Bush (#18) and #20 DE Michael Larrow (#20).  Bush lettered one year and Larrow three.

As you go farther down the list, there are a few names that you might recognize:  Mohamed Sanu (#22), Steve Beauharnais (#23), Ka'lial Glaud (#25), Quron Pratt (#27), and Aaron Hayward (#28).  Everyone outside the Top Ten was a three star.

And the Top Ten?

What about the 4-star players who didn't commit to Rutgers?  Here they are:

#1 Tyler Stockton, 4* Notre Dame, played one year

#2 Anthony Lalota, 4* Michigan, redshirted, transferred to RU in 2010 - left football in 2011

#4 Theo Riddick, 4* Notre Dame, currently with Lions

#5 Raymond Graham, 4* Pitt, was with Texans (UFA), Khaseem Greene's brother

#6 Joshua Evans, 4* Florida (under Urban Meyers), Jaguars 6th round

#7 Gerald Hodges, 4* ttfp, He originally committed to Rutgers, but switched his commitment from Rutgers to the Nittany Lions in December, 2008. Injured early, played 2 years, drafted by Vikings in 4th round

#8 Glenn Carson, 4* ttfp, currently with Arizona Cardinals

#10, Mark Brazinski, 4* Cal, Played in just 10 games with four starts, all coming as a senior in 2013, saw action in two games during both 2010 and 2011. But Brazinski didn't go to Cal just to play football; he earned a pair of bachelor's degrees from the prestigious Haas School of Business and in media studies in his first three years before adding a master's degree in information management systems in May of 2014.

So, out of that Top Ten, there are six in the NFL.  Ironically, the top two players did virtually nothing as college players, including the one who actually did end up at Rutgers.  And the two Top Ten players who started at Rutgers? One is in the NFL, the other played but was not necessarily a star.

The bottom line?

It's a crap shoot.  It always is with a 17- or 18-year old.  I'm sure both Notre Dame and Michigan were very pleased to get the number 1 and 2 player out of "talent rich" New Jersey.  And I'm sure Rutgers fans bemoaned that same fact.  In the end, who really won?

And we were also probably pretty pleased at getting the number three, a 4* player no less.  Honestly, I don't recall him very much, and for someone playing DT on some decent teams, that says a lot.

We missed out on five players who ended up in the NFL.  But we did okay with the 3* players who were rated 11-30.  Would having those 4* players have made a difference?  Probably, but I'll bet Rich Rodriguez and Charlie Weis wish the  results had gone in a different direction.

The conversation goes round and round....especially around here.  Just like "package deals" and "dream teams", the number of stars and the 4 stars do more for us, the fans, than they do for the teams. Do we want the best kids, the 4 and 5 star recruits?  Of course, but there is also the possibility that a 4* busts while a 3* shines.