Class of 2020 safety Elijuwan Mack (St. Joseph’s Regional, Montvale, N.J.) received an offer from Rutgers, this weekend. Mack, who also holds offers from Temple, UMass, and Boston College, is native of Newark, N.J. and a big time defensive playmaker for the Green Knights.
Mack recently told Bobby Deren of ScarletNation.com that he always wanted the Rutgers offer, and was “blessed to get an offer from [his] home state school.”
The six-foot, 180-pound junior has had quite the football journey this season. Mack’s father passed away from an illness this fall. Mack came up with a big interception in the first game back after his personal loss. Elijuwan was given the game ball after the Green Knights beat St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.), 24-21.
Although he’s listed as a safety, Mack is really the modern day safety/linebacker hybrid. In today’s game, you see more spread offenses, with faster playmakers on the field. These hybrid players are a necessity for every roster. Guys like Seattle Seahawk Kam Chancellor made a name for themselves by taking on this role in the NFL, and recently, at the college level, players like former Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick made plays at what they called the “star linebacker” position.
Mack finished the season with 61 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss, two sacks and two interceptions. Watching his film, you’ll see that when asked to blitz, Mack is quick enough to get past the first level of blockers without much difficulty and can finish through a tackle to secure a clutch sack. In coverage, he does a great job of baiting quarterbacks into throwing the ball in areas where he’ll swoop in and pick it off. He’s a strong enough tackler to make an impact when he gets in the box and faces an opposing running back.
Rutgers football recruiting could benefit greatly from landing an in-state prospect like Mack. He has the talent to make an impact immediately, either at the “star linebacker” role, or on special teams. He’s a raw talent and would be a nice addition to the defense, given his athleticism and versatility.