The good times for Rutgers recruiting continued on Tuesday, as Chris Ash and the Scarlet Knights secured a commitment from St. John Vianney offensive tackle Micah Clark, the Garden State's top recruit. In additIon to Clark, Rutgers also added Clark's teammate and brother, Jamaal Beaty.
I would like to Announce My commitment to Rutgers University ⚫️ @jamaal_beaty @wombough70 @CoachBlaz #AshEra pic.twitter.com/MNA9TltXJ5— Micah Clark (@MicahClark17) April 19, 2016
It goes without saying that picking up a commitment from Clark is a huge, huge win for Rutgers. 247Sports has him as a composite four-star recruit, and the top-ranked player in New Jersey. The site also him as the No. 14 offensive tackle in the nation.
As for Beaty, he is a 6-4, 270-pound guard who received offers from Rutgers and Old Dominion. He also received interest from Alabama, Michigan, Pitt, Temple, and Boston College.
We going to Rutgers ⚫️ ⚫️ #AshEra @CoachBlaz pic.twitter.com/xSr8hDJRWr— jamaal beaty (@jamaal_beaty) April 19, 2016
A look at his film shows Clark as a man among boys in high school. He routinely makes quick work of opposing defensive linemen, pushing them around in both pass protection and run blocking.
While most Rutgers offensive linemen tend to redshirt their freshman years, Clark has the makings of a Big Ten-ready offensive tackle, not to mention he still has his whole senior season to continue to hone his skills. He could very well start as a true freshman in 2017, especially with three starters (Chris Muller, Derrick Nelson, and J.J. Denman) entering their final year with the program.
Clark has been one of the hottest recruits in the state over the past year since receiving his first offer from Alabama in April 2015. Since then, the 6-5, 283-pounder has received a total of 17 scholarship offers. His offer list is largely a who's who of college football, including names like Bama, Clemson, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Tennessee, Iowa, Miami, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
Spurning those powerhouses for Rutgers suggests Clark truly believes in Ash and the future of this program, especially considering the new Scarlet Knights leader hasn't even coached a game yet.
For months, fans have been hoping Ash has what it takes to keep the top talent in New Jersey here on the banks, something the previous regime had trouble with. In the past week, Ash has gained commitments from supremely talented wide receiver Bo Melton, one of the top five or six recruits in New Jersey, and Clark, one of the best players in the state, and among the top offensive linemen in the nation.
The addition of Melton and Clark could help sell other players on the idea of joining Rutgers and continuing to put the program on the right path. With three of the top four players in the state still uncommitted, it's fair to wonder if we could get more good news in the coming days.
While prying Paramus Catholic standouts OLB Drew Singleton and DT Corey Bolds away from Jim Harbaugh could still a big challenge, one has to think this helps Rutgers' chances at landing Princeton DT Fred Hansard. Rutgers was already part of Hansard's top seven when he announced it a few weeks ago, so there's a good chance adding Melton and Clark helps the Scarlet Knights' chances in adding the No. 3 recruit in the Garden State.
You can take a look at Clark's film right here.
The #FenceTheGarden movement is going about as well as Rutgers fans could have hoped, and adding Clark and Melton should make Rutgers and even more desirable destination for the top in-state talent.