This is not a flashback, but yet another commitment for the Rutgers football program, its fifth in four days and seventh in less than two weeks. On Saturday, it was first reported by The Chop Nation of 247 Sports that Zamir Mickens, a 3-star safety from St. Peters Prep, pledged to the program.
While the tweet names Mickens as a 2019 recruit, that isn’t correct. 247 Sports ranks Mickens as the 31st recruit in New Jersey for the class of 2018 and his only other offer is from Liberty. He played last season with incoming freshman and quarterback of the future, Johnathan Lewis, at St. Peters Prep in Jersey City. While Mickens did play some on offense as a running back, his primary position is at safety. He had 79 tackles, 2 interceptions, 7 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in his junior season, according to Max Preps. The 6’1” Mickens returned one of the interceptions for a touchdown.
With a second commit coming later on Saturday in offensive lineman Matt Rosso, 247 Sports now ranks the nine member 2018 Rutgers recruiting class as 58th in the country and 12th in the Big Ten. For a program that had just two commits two Saturdays ago, this is solid progress. There is a lot of work to be done, but Chris Ash and the staff have done a good job of building a base for this class. With more recruits on campus today, there could be even more additions to the class soon.
If Ash can build a 2018 class of fifteen or more 3-star recruits, with eight committed so far, it will give the coaching staff talent to work with. The ability of the staff to develop players is the key to this program making several steps forward in the future. That’s exactly how former coach Greg Schiano built the program and Ash is working towards doing the same. Adding another recruit from local powerhouse St. Peters Prep is another positive sign of relationships being established on the recruiting trail.
Mickens is the second player from New Jersey in this class, as 3-star running back Isaih Pacheco committed earlier this week. Jarrett Paul, a 3-star cornerback commit from Middle Village, New York, will play next season for Paramus Catholic.
Welcome to the banks, Zamir!