Although the four early enrollees for Rutgers have already seen the ropes of Spring ball, there are still 15 more members of the class of 2016 that have yet to hit the field for Rutgers. Who will have the biggest impact and be able to contribute right away?
Immediate playing time
K/P Jared Smolar, 5-11 215
Who would've thought the walk-on kicker would have the best chance to play right away? Smolar has a huge leg and I would be surprised if he doesn't step in and handle kickoffs from day one. When Chris Ash said he would need to wait until there was competition at kicker and punter to name starters, he made it clear that the roster currently does not have anyone that has earned the coaches' trust. Smolar can play all the positions and has huge upside and will benefit from being coached by a kicker specialist in Vince Okruch.
DB Ross Taylor-Douglas, 5-10 186
Out of any position player coming to Campus this summer, Taylor-Douglas has the best chance to start immediately. He can start in the slot right away. Isaiah Wharton and Blessuan Austin have locked up the jobs on the perimeter but the unit is desperately in need of depth behind those two. RTD played all over the place at Michigan but will strictly be a DB at Rutgers. I expect him to see the field a lot in nickel situations as a third CB/fifth DB.
Chance for playing time
ATH Dacoven Bailey, 6-0 190
Bailey is a speedster that can add a lot to this offense. He can play multiple positions on offense and the coaching staff will have fun trying him out at different positions when he gets on campus. He could look to get into the fold on offense as an H-back or slot receiver or take handoffs out of the backfield. His speed can land him on the field on special teams so if his redshirt gets used up there is no harm in using him on offense as well since someone is going to have to replace Janarion Grant next year.
DT Julius Turner, 6-2 270
Rutgers always rotates a lot of bodies on the defensive line and Turner is the lone interior lineman in this class. DL coach Shane Burnham noted that there is no depth behind the starters which bodes well for a young guy like Turner coming in and looking to make a splash.
DBs Damon Hayes/Kobe Marfo
Continuing with the lack of depth at DB, specifically CB, there are many spots up for grabs. Jarius Adams has been injured and Charles Snorweah has been out due to academic issues so there are no B1G quality CBs behind Blessuan Austin and Isaiah Wharton. Even if RTD starts in the slot, there are still depth spots behind him. We saw last year how deep Rutgers was willing to dive on the CB depth chart just to get bodies on the field so it would be no surprise to see either of these two hit the field this year.
DL Malachi Moore, 6-7 285
Moore is a grad-transfer from Boston College who should add depth along the defensive line. He will likely fill a backup role and is versatile enough to help out either inside or outside. His massive frame could also land him on the field with the special teams in field goal block units.