With the recently reported departure of Ahmed Bah, the countless articles referencing how Rutgers will have a small recruiting class in 2018 due to sheer numbers, and the fanpost from Eazyp 201 about Jovani Haskins, I needed to sit down and do a reset for myself. Rutgers needs talent regardless of position and we will surely dive into positional recruiting plans later. For now, let’s take our best guess at how many players are currently on scholarship and how much eligibility they have remaining.
Quick recap on scholarship rule basics. Teams can have up to 85 players on scholarship unless they are currently penalized by the NCAA. Each recruiting class can have up to 25 players, though there is wiggle room there with early enrollments. For example, Micah Clark (a greenshirt) enrolling early in spring 2017 before signing day could be counted against 2016 or 2017 if Rutgers was in a bind. There is also other complexity around greenshirts and other colors, best covered by a previous SB Nation article.
Position (confirmed scholarship count): Current Scholarship players (eligibility remaining), current walk-ons (eligibility remaining), BOLD indicates that player has already used up a redshirt. True freshmen in italics.
Kyle Bolin is a normal grad transfer with one year left. Allen was a two-year grad transfer who is now injured so he may have a shot at a 6th year. Nittolo has two years of eligibility. Wyatt was a walk-on redshirt at Temple in 2016 so he has 4 years of eligibility remaining and does not have to sit out like a scholarship transfer would.
Running back (7): Martin (1), Hicks (1), Edwards (1), Snorweah (2), Sneed (3), Blackshear (4), Barnwell (4) De Vera (4), Also on roster: M. Anthony (3), Brady (4), Pugh (4)
This includes the fullbacks. Gus Edwards is a graduate transfer with only one year of eligibility. Martin, Hicks, and Sneed have not used a redshirt but barring injury should be on the field in 2017.
Tight End (4): Nash (1) Griffin-Stewart (2), Washington (2), Vokolek (4)
Wide Receiver (12): Grant (1), D. Mitchell (1), Harris (3), Blunt (3), Bailey (3), Jabbie (4), A. Mitchell (4), Melton (4), E. Lewis (4), Wormley (4), H. Hayek (4), S. Jones (4) Also on roster: Schoen (1), Murphy (2) Provillon (2), P. Taylor (4), Garvin (4), Ceneus (4)
Damon Mitchell only has one year as a graduate transfer. Dacoven Bailey is the only returning member of the group that has not redshirted. Many of the true freshman could see immediate action. Cole Murphy is a preferred walk on who I believe has two years of eligibility left, but it may be three. Quanel Williams is a current student and should surface as a walk-on but is not currently listed on the roster.
Offensive Line (16): Miller (1), Cole (2), Applefield (2), Heeman (2), Seymour (3), Taylor (3), Jackson (3), Venesky (3), Krimin (4) Howson (4), Maietti (4), Lonsdorf (4), Vretman (4), Beaty (4), M. Clark (4), Bowles (4) Also on roster: Pyrame (3) Onulak (4)
It appears every returning player on the offensive line has redshirted. Miller is the only 5th year senior.
Defensive Line (15): Turay (1), Davis (1), Joseph (1) Hogan (2), Wiafe (2) Wilkins (2), Bateky (2), Previlon (3), Manning (4) Turner (4) Lumor (4), Bordner (4), Mason (4), Tverdov (4), Duggan (4) Also on roster: Griggs (4)
Not much to note here other than that Darnell Davis is a former walk-on who earned a scholarship and is now a 5th year senior. Jon Bateky is the only player who saw time as a true freshman.
Linebacker (12): Douglas (1), Taylor (1), Russell (2), Margolis (2), Morris (2), Roberts (2), Maddox-Williams (3), Battle (4), Simmons (4) Fogg (4), Fatukasi (4), Onyechi (4), Also on roster: Rosa (3)
Not including Ronnie James who has a career ending injury. Douglas is in his second and final year as a graduate transfer. Brandon Russell is in fact a redshirt junior in 2017, but I had to check that one twice. The three presumed starters, Morris, Roberts, and Maddox-Williams all played as true freshman. This class of true freshmen could also see action.
Defensive back (12): Hester (2), Wharton (2), Hampton (2), Austin (2), Briscoe (2), Marfo (3), Hayes (3), Gray (3), Barrow (4), E. Lopez (4), T. Hayek (4), N. Jones (4) Also on roster: Campbell (1), McDuffie (2), Stevens (4)
Not including Jarius Adams who has a career ending injury. Briscoe will sit out 2017 due to NCAA transfer rules, then have two years of eligibility remaining afterward. Kobe Marfo joined the team last year with four years to play three seasons and redshirted. I made a previous error that Larry Stevens was a true sophomore, but he ended up qualifying for a medical redshirt having played in only the first 3 games. So Stevens is a redshirt freshman in 2017.
Specialists (2): Lucy (1), Anderson (1) Also on roster: Harte (1), Bonagura (1), Cintron (2), Haggerty (3), Sportelli (4), Davidovicz (4)
Ryan Anderson has true senior eligibility and is enrolled as a graduate student. Harte did not get a scholarship as per previous report because none were available. Davidovicz was viewed as a risk to be lost to a school that would give him a scholarship, but as of now he appears to be enrolled at Rutgers.
Conclusion: By my count, Rutgers is at 84 scholarships used. That could be more if any of the walk-ons listed did enough to earn a scholarship and it was not reported by the media. When there were no available scholarships for Harte, Ahmed Bah was still on the team and Ronnie James had not yet been declared to have a career ending injury.
Rutgers did not self-impose a scholarship reduction, but the NCAA still could impose one. Assuming it doesn’t and none of the seniors earn a 6th year of eligibility due to a medical redshirt like Zach Allen and none of the true seniors end up having to redshirt for any reason (like Alan Lucy), that means 16 players will have completed their eligibility in fall 2017. Sixteen plus the one other available scholarship right now means Rutgers could sign 17 players in the 2018 class if no one else leaves or suffers a career ending injury. There’s also a chance some seniors will not come back for their 5th year of eligibility or decide to use it elsewhere, like John Tsimis in 2016. There are currently 14 players committed as of today.
This could get interesting with the early signing period, as we will cover in another article this week. 47 days til the opener!