With the 2016 high school football season well in the books, almost all of the post-season accolades have been handed out. One of the last and most heralded awards are the USA Today All-USA State Football Teams. Writers from across the country work together to draw up all-state football teams for all 50 states. The full list can be found here.
Listed below are the USA Today all-state football teams for the state of New Jersey, which features a number of of Rutgers commits and targets.
First Team - Offense
QB Devin Leary (6-2, 185, Jr.), Timber Creek (Erial)
RB Elijah Barnwell (6-0, 188, Sr.), Piscataway
RB Jonathan Taylor (5-11, 210, Sr.), Salem - Wisconsin
WR Ezrah Archie (6-0, 185, Sr.), Timber Creek (Erial)
WR Bo Melton (6-1, 175, Sr.), Cedar Creek (Egg Harbor City) - Rutgers
TE Devin Miller (6-3, 225, Sr.), Metuchen
OL Micah Clark (6-6, 270, Sr.), St. John Vianney (Holmdel) - Rutgers
OL Noah DeHond (6-7, 317, Sr.), Peddie School (Hightstown) - Clemson
OL Joshua Fedd-Jackson (6-4, 305, Sr.), St. Joseph (Montvale)
OL Ben Petrula (6-5, 300, Sr.), St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City) - Boston College
OL Carter Warren (6-7, 315, Sr.), Passaic Tech (Wayne) - Pittsburgh
This list is led by Leary, a 3-star QB and the 2016 USA Today NJ Offensive Player of the Year, who broke the New Jersey state records for both passing yardage and passing touchdowns. The most impressive part of Leary’s season is that he will be back next fall for his senior campaign to break his own records.
Rutgers fans should be happy to see their top two New Jersey recruits, Micah Clark and Bo Melton, make appearances on the list. Both athletes finished off stellar careers before heading to The Banks. The Rutgers’ coaching staff is hoping to close in on Elijah Barnwell and Devin Miller and add them to this list.
Second Team - Offense
QB Tommy DeVito (6-2, 193, Sr.), Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey) - Syracuse
RB Isiah Byrd (5-10, 207, Sr.), Abraham Clark (Roselle)
RB Keshon Farmer (5-6, 165, Sr.), Peddie School (Hightstown)
WR Jahan Dotson (6-1, 194, Sr.), Peddie School (Hightstown)
WR Joe Scancarella (5-11, 170, Sr.), Wayne Valley (Wayne)
TE Jairo Ramos (6-2, 210, Jr.), Woodrow Wilson (Camden)
OL Mike Andrejco (6-4, 245, Sr.), Wall (Wall Township)
OL Noah Carroll (6-3, 260, Sr.), Lenape (Medford)
OL Liam Fornadel (6-4, 295, Sr.), Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey)
OL Ryan Huth (6-5, 265, Sr.), Allentown
OL Robert Martin (6-6, 260, Sr.), St. Joseph (Montvale) - Penn State
In a list led by a fair amount of uncommitted athletes, the lone Rutgers target here is Liam Fornadel. According to 247Sports, Rutgers is an overwhelming favorite to sign the 3-star guard.
First Team - Defense
DL Owen Kessler (6-4, 230, Sr.), Westfield
DL Jake Krellin (6-0, 190, Jr.), Middletown South
DL Dalyn Wade-Perry (6-3, 341, Sr.), Pope John XXIII (Sparta)
DL Fred Hansard (6-3, 310, Sr.), Hun School (Princeton) - Penn State
LB Louis Acceus (6-1, 210, Sr.), St. Joseph (Montvale)
LB Vinny DePalma (6-1, 215, Jr.), DePaul Catholic (Wayne)
LB Paul Theobald (6-2, 215, Sr.), Seton Hall Prep (West Orange) - Boston College
DB Markquese Bell (6-3, 205, Sr.), Bridgeton
DB Mike Doulong (5-11, 170, Sr.), Lenape (Medford)
DB Mike Gawlik (5-7, 160, Sr.), Jackson Memorial
DB Harrison Hand (6-0, 165, Sr.), Cherry Hill West
Although the first team defense does not have many players committed to programs thus far, it does feature arguably two of Rutgers’ biggest remaining targets. While 4-star athlete Markquese Bell eliminated Rutgers from his final list, 3-star defensive back Harrison Hand is trending towards joining Ihmir Marsette, Tim Barrow, and Naijee Jones as Rutgers’ corners of the future.
The 2016 USA Today NJ Defensive Player of the Year, Louis Acceus, is reportedly deciding between Maryland and Michigan State.
DL Jayson Ademilola (6-3, 270, Jr.), St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City) - Notre Dame
DL Tyler Friday (6-3, 255, Jr.), Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey)
DL Lorenzo Hernandez (6-0, 250, Sr.), Cherry Hill West - Villanova
DL Josh Lezin (6-4, 230, Jr.), Lakewood
LB Shqipron Idrizi (6-0, 205, Sr.), Bergen Catholic (Oradell)
LB Ricky Mottram (6-2, 244, Sr.), Allentown
LB Mike Ruane (6-1, 225, Sr.), Rumson-Fair Haven (Rumson) - Massachusetts
DB Ezekiel Ennis (5-9, 165, Sr.), St. Augustine Prep (Richland)
DB David Estevez (5-11, 185, Jr.), River Dell (Oradell)
DB Mike Husni (5-11, 160, Sr.), Toms River North
DB Johnathan Lovett (5-11, 195, Sr.), Cherokee (Marlton)
The big name on this list for Rutgers fans is former Scarlet Knight commit Johnathan Lovett, a 3-star athlete who opened up his recruitment back in November. Despite de-committing from Rutgers, Lovett is most likely to sign back with RU come National Signing Day, according to 247Sports.
A few other awards of note:
- 4-star outside linebacker and Rutgers’ #2 ranked recruit Tyshon Fogg was named 2nd team All-Maryland.
- 3-star tackle Samuel Vretman was named 2nd team All-Connecticut.
- 3-star outside linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi was named 1st team All-New York and 3-star defensive back Tim Barrow was named 2nd team All-New York.