The Rutgers football coaching staff continues to put work on the recruiting trail and hosted a number of official visitors this weekend. The continued hope is to get some (or all) of them to decide to come to Rutgers and sign as soon as Wednesday, the beginning of the early signing period. The Scarlet Knights secured a verbal commitment from another one of them, Troy Rainey of Harding High School in Bridgeport, Sunday:
I’m fully committed to RUTGERS UNIVERSITY‼️ ⚔️ ⚔️. Recruitment is 100% shutdown— Theofficial51_Troy (@theofficial51) December 15, 2019
Thank you to the whole Rutgers nation for letting me in with open arms. Very special thanks to @GregSchiano @CoachPanagos @HCFootball_Pres @RUCoachFran & @WHHSPresidents
Rutgers is believed to have been Troy’s 5th Division 1 offer per 247, though Rutgers is his first Power Five since Boston College was just showing interest. At 6’5” and 305 pounds, Rainey is a three-star prospect who flipped from Bowling Green, the 14th best player in Connecticut for the 2020 class, the 128th best defensive tackle available according to the 247 composite which includes other sources.
Rainey is quite strong, though some of the players he was blocking were very undersized. When he locks on with someone, he almost always wins. I was also impressed by his ability as an offensive tackle to move in short space, though he doesn’t show great acceleration at long distances. On defense he shows the explosion necessary to deliver a blow to a ball carrier and halt him in his tracks. He is much more impressive on defense than offense. It’s amazing he hasn’t gotten more late interest though if he doesn’t sign Wednesday, Troy would get plenty of offers heading i to February traditional signing day.
Troy should possess the necessary size and strength to battle for a spot in the two-deep by his second season. He will probably need a little time practicing against other players of his size and strength to be effective in the Big Ten. He should have room to become a little more athletic which will be needed on the defensive line to track down quarterbacks and running backs. That said there’s a chance he can deliver blows already and be a situational pass rusher from the interior of the line by the end of his freshman year.
Rainey is at worst a solid three-star prospect who will compete hard in practice and provide depth like Eric Wiafe did during his career. Troy most likely start being a valuable member of the two deep by his third season like Kenneth Kirksey. Best case Troy is a able to contribute by his second season, not simply out of necessity, the normal development track for a defensive tackle like Ike Holmes.
I like the pickup because Rutgers dipping into Connecticut is a good strategy while it’s chief recruiting rival in the region, Boston College, is seeing some turnover of its own. Rainey himself may be a bit of a project, but we won’t know until he is on campus. As I say time and time again, linemen take time to develop and sometimes the later bloomers are the guys who end up in the NFL.
Rainey is the first true defensive lineman in this class (now that Isaiah Wright seems ticketed for offense). The fifteen total verbal commits thus far each have a 3-star rating in the latest 247 composite rankings that has seen Rutgers skyrocket from 105th about a week ago to the low 60s. The coaching staff knows that to get as many linemen who can shove people around as possible to compete in the Big Ten trenches. They need big bodies with potential and Troy is one.
Here are some of Rainey’s highlights:
Welcome to the banks Troy!