There are a few very precious weeks until the National Signing Day for the Class of 2017. Chris Ash and his football coaching staff at Rutgers have a golden opportunity to add a few very talented football players from the Garden State. If Coach Ash is going to build a program with long term, sustainable success, he must consistently recruit the top high school football prospects from the very fertile Garden State. Here is a list of the top seniors who have not announced any college commitments thus far for next season. The rankings listed are the national position rankings and overall individual state rankings as evaluated by 247 sports.
Drew Singleton - Paramus Catholic HS. OLB 6-2 215
# 3 National OLB - #1 overall in NJ
The jewel of the very talented class of 2017 but a long shot to land On the Banks. The top ranked prospect in NJ would make an immediate impact from the get go.
Markquese Bell - Bridgeton HS. Athlete 6-3 195
# 7 National Athlete - #3 overall in NJ
Ohio State is in the hunt and Maryland is hoping to secure the services of the top ranked athlete and hard hitting safety but the Knights are the slight favorite come signing day.
Corey Bolds - Paramus Catholic HS. DT 6-3 275
#39 National DT - #10 overall in NJ
Clemson, Georgia, Penn State and Boston College may all be disappointed when the top ranked defensive lineman from the Garden State signs with the Scarlet Knights.
Louis Acceus - St. Joseph Regional HS. (Montvale) OLB 6-1 200
#71 National OLB - #21 overall in NJ
This quick and athletic weak side linebacker plays bigger than his size and utilizes his wingspan to his advantage. Virginia Tech or Maryland is the most likely landing spot but Rutgers is making an 11th hour push for this sideline to sideline hit machine and they are wise to do so. But it may be a case of too little too late?
Dayln Wade-Perry - Pope John HS (Sparta) DT 6-3 340
#28 National DT - #8 overall in NJ
Stanford is a strong favorite to bring in this space eater on the Defensive Line.
Harrison Hand - Cherry Hill West HS. CB 5-11 185
#49 National CB - #12 overall in NJ
There are many Power 5 schools still in the hunt for the smooth shifting cover corner and Rutgers is on his radar
Eddie Lewis - Mater Dei HS (Middletown, NJ) WR 5-11 175
#94 National WR - #14 overall in NJ
Syracuse is the front runner but don’t rule out Indiana. Rutgers has four receivers already committed in this class.
Johnathan Lovett - Cherokee HS. (Burlington) Athlete 6-1 195
#62 National Running Back - #20 overall in NJ
The one time Rutgers commit has reconsidered joining the Scarlet Knights. This one cut, down hill tailback would bring instant credibility to the Banks of the Old Raritan.
Liam Fornadel - Don Bosco HS. (Ramsey) OG 6-4-295
# 92 National OG - #43 overall in NJ
Has drawn the attention from the top schools in the Group of 5 but has the potential to make an impact in Piscataway. Bringing in the Iron Man road grader can reap benefits from Don Bosco down the line.
Jahmin Muse - Elizabeth HS. S 6-2 195
#84 National Safety - #25 overall in NJ
Coach Ash has been spotted in this Union County High School lately and Muse is a big reason but not the only reason. He is a very athletic and very versatile and is likely to land in High Point Solutions Stadium with ability on both sides of the ball.
Devin Miller - Metuchen HS. TE 6-3 225
#46 National TE - #19 overall in NJ
Devin has attracted offers from Wisconsin, Purdue, Syracuse and Houston. He should be a priority of the RU staff with the frame and potential to be a 3 down, multi-faceted TE. I believe he will wear the scarlet hat on signing day.
Elijah Barnwell - Piscataway HS. Athlete 5-10 175
#27 National All Purpose Back - #39 overall in NJ
A very talented athlete who grew up in the shadows of the RU Campus and it will sting if he gets away from the Scarlet Knight’s. Penn State, Syracuse and Boston College will all be missing out on a tremendous athlete.
Joshua Fedd-Jackson - St. Joseph Regional HS. OG 6-3 300
#44 National OG - #22 overall in NJ
Ash and his staff were initially very cold to this top flight offensive lineman from the number 1 team in the state this season and it may have a lasting negative effect. North Carolina State and Illinois are most likely to benefit from the power blocking guard services at the next level.
Signing out of state prospects rather than in state players can have a long and lasting negative impact. Coach Ash has had nearly an entire year to evaluate and visit the top New Jersey High School Football players and needs to capitalize on the talent that is all within a two hour drive from the State University, without any recruiting competition within its borders. If the current Rutgers Football Coaching Staff can sow the proper seeds early and often, they will reap the benefits tenfold and then some. Here is to hoping the top Garden State prospects head up and down the turnpike all to Exit 9.