Following up an extremely busy and productive weekend on the recruiting trail, Coach Ash isn’t out of the woods just yet.
Just over a week removed from a key coach departure that led to a pair of de-commitments, the Rutgers brass needed to respond in a big way. This response included four new commitments of scholarship athletes, two preferred walk-on spots (including a kicker) and the graduate transfer of a record setting punter.
The current Class of 2017 stands at 23 commits and will most certainly continue to grow in the next 48 hours. Whose names will be added to the list of future Scarlet Knights? Lets take a look at some possibilities:
Cordarrian Richardson - 4-star running back, Trezevant High School, Tennessee
Richardson has emerged in recent days as the highest priority athlete remaining on Rutgers’ recruiting wishlist. A relationship that grew due to the commitment of teammate Tijuan Mason, closing the deal on Richardson would be a huge boost for the 2017 class. Richardson is the 3rd ranked running back in the south region, according to scout.com, and would help alleviate the loss of former commits Jonathan Taylor and Johnathan Lovett. Richardson de-committed from Clemson back in December and visited Rutgers this past weekend.
Raheem Blackshear - 3-star running back, Archbishop Wood HS, Pennsylvania
After suffering a recruiting loss after seeing former commit Ihmir Smith-Marsette de-commit from the program and flipping to Minnesota, Coach Ash could be on the verge of notching a flip of his own.
I am no longer committed to MSU— 2Strong (@speedy_heem) January 30, 2017
Just a day after taking his official visit to Rutgers, Raheem Blackshear announced that he was de-committing from Michigan State and named RU as the new leader. The speedy Blackshear was slated to play wide receiver at Michigan State, but is the second ranked running back in Pennsylvania, according to scout.com, and could most certainly lineup in the backfield as a Scarlet Knight.
Devin Miller - 3-star tight end, Metuchen HS, New Jersey
Although Rutgers has already added a tight end in this recruiting cycle in Missouri tight end Travis Vovolek, don’t count out the possibility of Miller joining the class of 2017 as well. The former Houston Cougar commit has a good combination of size (6’3”, 225 pounds) and speed. According to 247Sports, Miller is the 45th ranked tight end in the country (higher than Vovolek) and has been destined to become a Scarlet Knight ever since his de-commitment. Signing multiple dynamic tight ends would fall right in line with new Offensive Coordinator Jerry Kill’s plan of attack.
Johnathan Lovett - 3-star athlete, Cherokee HS, New Jersey
Remember him? The former Rutgers-commit has had his services up for grab since November, and currently looks to be deciding between Baylor and Michigan State. While Rutgers is not totally out of the picture (247Sports Crystal Ball gives RU a 19% chance), flipping Lovett back to his hometown team would be Ash’s greatest recruiting achievement to date. Lovett received a visit from Jerry Kill and Lester Erb on January 19th.
Eddie Lewis - 3-star wide receiver, Mater Dei HS, New Jersey
As previously highlighted in one of my recent posts, Eddie Lewis has been trending towards Rutgers for the past few weeks. Lewis could be a great weapon down the road for Rutgers, featuring the size to play outside, as well as the speed to play in the slot. Lewis took his official visit to Rutgers on January 21st.
Corey Bolds - 3-star defensive tackle, Paramus Catholic, New Jersey
The Corey Bolds-Rutgers connection has gone from “only a matter of time” to “is this going to happen?” For a while, Bolds was seemed destined to stay home for his collegiate career, and has been heavily recruited by current players and commits.
Bolds took his official visit to RU on January 20th, but followed it up with an official to Minnesota just three days later where he received a scholarship offer. All signs point to a fight to the finish between the two Big Ten schools to sign Bolds.
Romello Martin - 3-star defensive tackle, Abraham Lincoln HS, New York
In a class that already features great defensive line talent, Martin could be battling with Bolds for a potential scholarship. Martin has not gotten too much discussion as a future Scarlet Knight, but is worth mentioning due to his 247 Crystal Ball Prediction. The number one defensive tackle in all of New York named Rutgers as a finalist in his most recent group of finalists, albeit back in September. Coach Ash will be battling it out with Florida, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Miami.
Trey Creamer - 3-star cornerback, Cartersville HS, Georgia
Another recruit deciding between a number of Big Ten schools, Creamer visited Rutgers this past weekend.
Following the de-commitments of Smith-Marsette and Bryce Watts, we all know how important it is to land a cornerback recruit or two throughout the remainder of the cycle. Creamer would be another long boundary defender for Chris Ash’s defense of the future. Rutgers currently sits behind Minnesota as the favorite to land Creamer, according to 247Sports.
Boye Mafe - 3-star defensive end, Hopkins HS, Minnesota
Although it appears that he will stay home and become a Minnesota Gopher, Rutgers has ramped up it’s recruiting efforts for Mafe within the past few weeks. Mafe made his official visit to Rutgers, the only other FCS program to give him an offer, back on January 20th. It will be a two-horse race for the six-foot-four defensive end’s services.
Axel Nyembwe - 3-star defensive tackle, The Avalon School, Maryland
The lone athlete on this list that is currently committed to another school, Duke is in great danger of losing Nyembwe on National Signing Day. Axel took an official visit to Rutgers in December and an unofficial visit on January 21st. Coach Ash & company has been heavily in pursuit of the six-foot-two, 290 pound defensive tackle and is looking to pick up the flip within the next few days. For what it’s worth, Nyembwe spent the past week down in Orlando playing in USA Football’s International Bowl along side the aforementioned Eddie Lewis. Perhaps Lewis managed to sneak in some recruiting of his own?
Terence Dunlap - 2-star running back Maplesville School, Alabama
Not the highest ranked recruit left on the board, Dunlap would add depth and speed to the running back position. His 4.50 40-yard dash time attributes to the decision of signing Dunlap as a low-risk, possible high-reward investment. Rutgers has not extended an offer yet, but Dunlap could see one before February 1st.
Stay up to date with On The Banks or the latest news on what will be a very exciting finish to the Class of 2017 recruiting cycle. For an updated list of the 2017 commits, click here.