While it didn't come as much of a surprise to many of us here at On The Banks, or many of the Scarlet Knights faithful, three-star quarterback Anthony Russo's decommitment on Tuesday evening was really the last thing this program needed after the season it just endured.
New head football coach Chris Ash has already kicked off his tenure with the program by scrambling around the country trying to keep whatever's left in tact from the Flood era committed to the future of the program. Instead of the class remaining in tact prior to National Signing Day in three weeks, the foundations of what is currently yet another unimpressive class have begun to crumble beneath Ash.
You can view the tweet Russo sent out, announcing his decommitment from the program here. As mentioned prior, it wasn't an earth-shattering decision by Russo, who many expected to change his mind once Ash announced he would be bringing a spread-heavy influence to the program.
In the wake of the Russo decommitment, Ash extended a scholarship offer to Tylin Oden, a three-star quarterback out of Tennessee.
247Sports has Odin as a 50% lean to Louisville at the moment, with Rutgers gaining a ton of recent momentum since it was announced he received an offer.
Neither Oden or Russo are program-changing quarterbacks as they stand right now, but both could be much better than what the roster has to offer at the moment. At the end of next season, you could look back on the Rutgers program over the last six years, and Gary Nova and Chris Laviano would have been your starting quarterbacks. If that doesn't make you want to try any willing option under center, then I'm not sure what will.
What's important now for Ash and the new coaching staff to follow up Russo's decommitment with is damage control. It's looking more and more likely that Patrice Rene could flip to Wisconsin if the Badgers continue their dominant final push over the next three weeks before National Signing Day. What works in Rutgers' favor with Rene, is that they are his final official visit before he will sign his letter of intent. It's important that the Scarlet Knights remain fresh in his mind when he steps to the table to announce his intentions.
When we last checked in on where Rutgers ranked in recruiting, the program was ranked 62nd overall, and held a 156-point composite score with 247Sports. Since Russo's decommitment, the school has dropped five spots to 67th overall, and holds just a 137-point composite ranking.
The next three weeks will certainly be interesting for Ash and company to try and solidify a more respectable class than what's on paper right now. Many of us expected Russo's departure, but what could come after could be a shock to all of us if this class doesn't remain in tact.