December 5, 2015. Chris Ash. A new day. #AshEra
Except it really didn't start then. Chris Ash was the new head coach at Rutgers, but he was still going to coach Ohio State's defense in the Fiesta Bowl. He wasn't our coach....completely.
And more than a few people were upset and worried about that. But Ash wouldn't do it any other way.
I wouldn't do it any other way. If I had an opportunity to become a head coach, the reason I have that opportunity is because of the people at Ohio State....Those players there have been unbelievable, and I would not feel right if I didn't help them finish the job that I started. I would ask the same of any assistant coach that would be in my program that would have the same opportunity, and I'm going to go back and help those guys try to finish out the right way.....I understand it will be a challenge but I'm up to the task and I can promise all Rutgers fans and players that the days that I'm back in Columbus to help with the preparations for the Bowl game will not take away from what we're trying to build here.
Well, he gets points for character and loyalty.
But there were so many things to do! What about filling out a staff? What about recruiting?
And what about recruiting? And let's not forget . . . .recruiting.
Recruiting was a real big concern for fans. And more than a few weren't happy that Ash was working two sides of the street. It didn't seem to matter to Ash who is, of course, now neck deep in finalizing a recruiting class that has seen some decommits and is ranked as low as 86 nationally as we approach National Signing Day on February 3.
Having virtually no connection to New Jersey except for Rick Mantz, the director of high school relations, would Ash be able to get New Jersey recruits? With limited time even contacting players, could he hold together the class that was there? Apparently, Ash was looking at quality - his kind of players - and, if possible, quantity.
Chris Ash says he's not concerned with the number of commits in this class. Says it could get to 25. #rfootball— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) January 12, 2016
His concern was getting the kind of players that would be successful in his system and to develop them. Coach'em up, if you will. Something that a lot of fans felt wasn't happening under the prior regime.
Chris Ash's realistic approach to #RFootball recruiting. Be a developmental program. https://t.co/urWgRwClcA #AshEra #FightorFlight— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) December 22, 2015
So where does Rutgers' 2016 class stand at this moment? How good - or bad - will it be?
Rankings and Reviews
Whatever the numbers are, they may or may not change after yesterday's decommit of PK Alex Barbir and the commitment of ATH K.J. Gray.
BTN's Gerry DiNardo does his weekly updates on all the Big Ten schools. His report as of January 26?
B1G 2016 Recruiting Update Ranking based on Star's 1 UM 2 MSU 3. PSU 4 OSU 5 Neb 6 UW 7 Maryland 8 NU 9 Minn 10 RU 11 Iowa 12 IU13 PU 14 IL— Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) January 25, 2016
That holds steady from two weeks ago.
B1G 2016 Recruiting Update #Rutgers Ranked 64 nationally by Scout, 71 by 247 & 80 by Rivals with 13 commits. Ave Star Rating 2.85— Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) January 25, 2016
And the details from the services? As of January 25, Rutgers looked like this?
Not an overly impressive ranking, although nationally RU jumped 15 spots on 247, but just one spot on Rivals. It actually fell one to last in the Big Ten on Rivals while moving up two in conference on 247. The Rivals site does not appear to be updated; we are behind FIU, Army, and Toledo in their recruiting rankings. By comparison, here is what Flood had in his four classes, including 2012 which was his first and primarily recruited under Schiano.
|* Extrapolated for Big East & AAC|
The Ash Express
Since the end of the "Dead Period", Ash and Co. have been on the go. So with a week to go, where does that leave us?
Excited to get out and recruit the Great State of New Jersey today!!! #FenceTheGarden— Chris Ash (@CoachChrisAsh) January 14, 2016
He has shown that he is ready to fight for recruits. No longer will Rutgers turn its back on a player who has verballed to another school. Ash has shown that he and his staff will battle anyone and do so until the NLI is signed.
The coach is ready and so is his staff. Maybe the high school coaches in New Jersey are ready, too.
Together we R #jerseystrong! Sign up for our NJFCA newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org pic.twitter.com/4H8LqAIxfz— NJFCA (@NJFCA) January 6, 2016
Will he get his quality? Will he get a quarterback? Does he need a QB in the 2016 class?
It's seven days to NSD.
What would you accept for a recruiting class in Chris Ash's first year? How good does it have to be in terms of national ranking? Vote in the poll and we'll see you in the comments section.