The first-ever early signing period is just about over. And it’s either a great thing or a mess....or something in between Does it help the coaches, the athletes, or - and this is most important - the fans? Well, just like the the rankings of the classes, who knows.
As we look at Chris Ash’s work on the Class of 2018, our Jim Hoffman took a look at where the members of this class hailed from. As Jim offered in his post, he looked at how well “Fencing the Garden” is going, or if it is even necessary.
Of the 18 signees, there were only six - a third of the class - who are from New Jersey. Now, as Jim said, let’s expand the Garden State and look at the “State of Rutgers”, as Greg Schiano phrased it. Look at the states that border New Jersey and put them in “the state”. The total expands to 13 commitments who signed on the bottom line to wear scarlet.
But it’s been said for years that if Rutgers could keep the New Jersey kids, it could be a powerhouse. But this year’s class so far only includes those six kids. Where are all the other top New Jersey prospects going?
I’ll tell you this: not many went to those schools that are top ten in the recruit rankings. Or even the top 20.
Among the teams in the top ten of recruit rankings, using 247Sports, there are only four New Jersey kids....and three of them are going to Notre Dame. Expand that to the top 20 teams and you add only two more.
Out of the top ten, the three Notre Dame recruits are all out of St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City and two, Justin and Jayson Ademilola, likely came as a package. South Brunswick’s Justin Shorter is heading for Happy Valley.
Maryland and Florida both got their Top 20 kids from South Jersey, an area that has been an area from which Rutgers has had mixed results.
Among Big Ten schools, only Penn State and Maryland have signed athletes from New Jersey. That’s it. Two.
So who among the top schools or among Rutgers’ “peers” got the Jersey kids? We looked at the following, with their 247Sports rank:
- Louisville (25)
- West Virginia (31)
- North Carolina (36)
- Syracuse (44)
- Cincinnati (45)
- Virginia (48)
- Boston College (59)
- Temple (71)
North Carolina picked up Lancine Turay (Irvington) while Syracuse signed Taj Harris (Palmyra). UVa signed two private school players, Javar Garrett (Peddie School) and Bobby Haskins (Hun School). Then there’s everyone’s “keep your eye on those guys” school, Boston College.
BC has Anthony Campanile as a lead recruiter for New Jersey. He was on the Rutgers staff at one point and his brother, Nunzio, is the head coach at Bergen Catholic. The Eagles signed four New Jersey athletes, including QB John Langan from....Bergen Catholic. And the other three BC signees from New Jersey all played at north Jersey parochial schools (St. Joe’s Montvale, Pope John XXIII, and DePaul).
Temple, ranked 71 by 247Sports, picked up four New Jersey products, two from south Jersey - their neck of the woods - along with one from Sayreville and another from DePaul.
So, have we “fenced the garden”? Or, as Jim asked, do we have to? Ten of those 18 players signed by the other teams are going to schools that are behind Rutgers in the rankings. We got our share, plus those from the “State of Rutgers”.
Maybe Rutgers is getting the kids it wants and needs, whether from the Garden State or someplace else. Maybe...just maybe...we’re doing okay, we’re doing enough.
Coach’em up, Chris!