Barack Obama might not be a fan of Canadian pipelines, but #ChopNation should be.
Patrice Rene is a big, physical athletic cornerback, and Rutgers was hoping to bag him for months. The 6'2" 190 pound 4* corner chose the Scarlet Knights over the defending national champion Buckeyes. That's right Urbz, you lost a recruit to KYLE-FORMER-MATH-TEACHER- FLOOD. How you like dem apples? [weeps as Meyer goes on a recruit-stealing vengeance rampage through the Mid-Atlantic for the next five years]
Rene initially committed to Rutgers over two weeks ago, prior to his most recent visit to Ohio State for Friday Night Lights. But with the Rutgers staff aware of his Buckeye interest and the fact that he was scheduled to visit the school, Rene was prompted to hold off on making it official until after that visit.
As fantastic as this commitment is standing alone (and it is), the impact of Patrice's commit is bigger than just him, for a few reasons. First, assuming Rene signs in February, he represents a 50% increase in the number of 4* recruits Flood will have landed on signing day in his career as Rutgers HC, joining Nadir Barnwell and Marques Ford.
Almost certainly more important than that bit of star-gazing, Rene is very close with two fellow Canucks, both studs in the Class of 2017, who followed him to Episcopal HS in Alexandria, Virginia: Luiji Vilain and Jonathan Sutherland. All three are very close to each other, and to Canada's premier high school football developer, Victor Tedondo, of Ontario's Gridiron Academy.
Vilain is a 6'4" 240 lb. D-End. Rivals rates him a four star prospect, a member of the Rivals 150, and the number two ranked Weakside D-End in the country. With a big junior season, he could vault even higher into national prominence. His other offers include Minnesota, ttfp, Wisconsin, Syracuse and UVA.
Sutherland is a 6'0" 190 pound defensive back, who likely projects as a safety. Rivals rates him a four-star talent, and 230 nationally. He has offers from Boston College, Miami, Nebraska, Temple, UVA, Vandy, and Wisconsin.
* * *
Recruiting experts are generally skeptical of so-called "package deals", where close friends and/or high school teammates choose to play together at the same college. This group of talented players might be different. After all, they have already made such a move once, crossing an international border to play together at Episcopal in Virginia. Rutgers fans are hoping Mr. Rene can convince them to do it one more time, in Piscataway.