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Rutgers Football NSD: RB Elijah Barnwell Signs!

NCAA Football: Michigan at Rutgers
Elijah surely has the shortest journey of any 2017 commit to campus.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Piscataway High School product RB Elijah Barnwell officially joined Rutgers on Wednesday, signing his National Letter of Intent to join the Scarlet Knights.

6’ 0” - 188 lbs. - 4.7 (40 yd.) - All-purpose back

24 ‘ 7 : #41 overall NJ - #34 Nat’l APB

Rivals: 5.4 rating

He announced his decision to join the Scarlet Knights yesterday, January 31 after weighing his options including his offer from Rutgers in March 2016. In addition to Rutgers, Barnwell held offers from several FCS schools on top of Buffalo where he had previously committed. His FBS offer list was small despite interest from USC, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Syracuse, Maryland, and Umass who may have offered last minute had Elijah not committed to the Scarlet Knights.

New offensive coordinator Jerry Kill intends to be a multiple offense not confined to a single back at all times. Head Coach Chris Ash and his staff, specifically new running backs coach Lester Erb searched far and wide for a lead back to ultimately replace the production of rising seniors Robert Martin and Josh Hicks, and landed the most local of all local prospects, the 6-0, 188 Barnwell.

Barnwell’s strengths are his toughness, vision, and athleticism to make different types of cutbacks. Additionally, he has excellent instincts tracking down the ball carrier on defense or special teams where he could contribute right away. He also has good size and acceleration at 6-foot-0 and 188 pounds, however he will likely add additional leg size and strength to generate more power. He may also benefit in working with the college training staff to develop additional straight line speed. Some players have peaked in the 40 yard dash in high school while others have not (Ray Rice, Brian Leonard, etc)

Freshman Impact: The Scarlet Knights are lacking long-term depth at running back which explains one reason Charles Snorweah has moved from DB (previously lacking scholarship players) ‘back’ to running back. The addition of Barnwell brings much needed depth to this group following the graduations of Desmon Peoples and Justin Goodwin. In addition to Snorweah, Trey Sneed is the only scholarship underclassmen competing in spring for carries with Robert Martin and Josh Hicks, each in their final seasons of eligibility. The staff has indicated they would like to use players from the two deep on special teams, but Barnwell may represent a big enough upgrade over the 2016 units with his athleticism and tackling ability to see the field in 2017.

Take a look at Barnwell's film right here:

Welcome to the banks, Elijah!

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