Heralded 4-star defensive tackle Fred Hansard of The Hun School in Princeton, New Jersey committed to Florida over Rutgers and Tennessee today. After being courted by many of the top college football programs in the country during his recruitment process, Hansard had previously declared those three schools as his top choices. Instead of staying home, Hansard will be heading south to play for Florida head coach Jim McElwain and defensive line coach Chris Rumph.
I have officially committed to... https://t.co/BAYjvn7Pyb— Fred Hansard (@Fred_Hansard56) August 26, 2016
There was some hope he would help “fence the garden” and be part of the strong 2017 recruiting class Rutgers currently has. He is close friends with current commit Everett Wormley and had this to say about Rutgers to the Bleacher Report earlier this month:
"[Head coach Chris] Ash is doing big things with recruiting, and they're just on the right path to become great," he said. "Coach Ash, his staff and the strength and conditioning guys bring a lot of new energy to the team. They're hyped, and now the players there have that same kind of energy. The committed recruits do too."
"It's awesome to know my home school is on the rise," he said.
While it’s disappointing that Ash and Rutgers missed out on a consensus top ten recruit in New Jersey, they still have a chance with Paramus Catholic’s Corey Bolds, another highly recruited defensive tackle. As of now, it appears Rutgers is battling Michigan for his commitment.
In regards to Hansard, he told NJ Advance Media’s Todderick Hunt that he still intends to take his official visits this fall, even though he committed today. So who knows, it’s possible Hansard could have a change of heart and ultimately commit to Rutgers. For now, Ash and the staff will likely focus on recruiting Bolds to the banks. The good news is that the current 2017 group of commits for Rutgers remains strong and is currently a consensus top 30 class. With a week out until Ash’s first season at Rutgers begins, there is every reason to be positive about the future.