While the 2018 recruiting class has just two commitments at the moment, the Rutgers football coaching staff has been busy hosting many intriguing prospects of late. The month of June is camp season and today many top recruits from the class of 2018 will be on campus. It is certainly a big month for the staff and progress needs to be made.
With that thought in mind, head coach Chris Ash recently added to his recruiting staff at the start of this month by hiring former Temple graduate assistant Omar Hales as Director of Recruiting Communications, per Hales twitter bio.
Very excited that I will be joining the Rutgers Football Family ⚔️ ⚔️ #RUKN18TED #TheHunt #Major pic.twitter.com/Cz6hhrkX64— Coach Omar Hales (@Omeezi_) June 2, 2017
Hales is a former Temple player that had been a graduate assistant under former head coach Matt Rhule. He initially stayed at Temple once Rhule left for Baylor and new head coach Geoff Collins took over the program. He made the move to Rutgers at the beginning of June. Hales was active in recruiting in areas such as Washington D.C, Maryland and Virginia at Temple, as well as locally.
The hiring of Hales is another example of Ash adding local recruiters to the staff. After not bringing on any assistants with New Jersey ties to his original coaching staff, Ash added Henry Baker to replace Aaron Henry last January. Baker had previously coached at Paterson Eastside a few years ago and has strong ties to the area, while also coaching at Delaware for years. Like Baker, Hales has local ties as well.
Hales worked at Imhotep Charter high school in Philadelphia for several years as their defensive coordinator, before leaving for Temple. They are traditionally a very good football program and Hales is still very connected there. The official twitter account for the Imhotep football team tweeted out congratulations to Hales upon news of his hiring.
#RUKN18TED #Major Imhotep coaching alum @Omeezi_ https://t.co/sEmspYI0b2— Imhotep Football (@Imhotepfootball) June 3, 2017
The head coach of King high school in Philadelphia also tweeted out congratulations here and referred to Hales in writing “awesome to see when great things come to great people”.
In addition to Hales likely to help recruit in South Jersey and Philly, as well as the DMV area, he adds a younger presence on the staff and has been active on twitter in the short time he has been at Rutgers.
We're talking about real life relationships ⚔️ @MicahClark17 @CoachBlaz #LifeBeyondTheGame pic.twitter.com/4X9dgKaKjv— Coach Omar Hales (@Omeezi_) June 6, 2017
Hales also boasts often on twitter of his prowess playing Madden Football, the long popular video game, and is another way that he can relate to recruits on visits. It might sound trivial or not that important, but it’s a critical way to relate with recruits nowadays and to have conversations in a casual but meaningful way.
In less than two weeks since Hales has been at Rutgers, he has already been active with some intriguing recruits who have visited the program. Hales is pictured below with 4-star offensive tackle John Campbell from Dr. Phillips school in Florida.
In NJ @RUfootball loving my visit with @omeezi_ ⚔️ #RUKN18HTED pic.twitter.com/jC5UoM0zhA— John Campbell7️⃣4️⃣ (@_jcamp74) June 8, 2017
Overall, Hales seems like a smart hire for Ash, as he continues to build relationships locally in recruiting circles. While the 2018 recruiting class has started slow, the Rutgers staff is in the mix on a lot of solid prospects. The reality is a 2-10 season makes it more difficult to start fast in the following recruiting cycle. If the staff continue to grind and the team can show real progress next season, the 2018 class should come together in a positive way. It’s obvious with the hiring of Hales that Ash is never complacent and always looking for ways to improve the program. Let’s hope Hales makes a big impact with recruits, now and in the future.
Elite guys will be in Piscataway tomorrow #Facts #RUKN18HTED ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/fC1oRzDNqm— Coach Omar Hales (@Omeezi_) June 10, 2017