For a long time, despite defensive line being one of the Scarlet Knights’ biggest weaknesses, no one had committed in the 2020 class until graduate transfer Malik Barrow Sunday, who has just one year left to play. He began his career at Ohio State and continued at UCF this season.
Barrow was a four-star recruit who signed with Ohio State in 2016. At OSU he played under defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, hence the familiarity. After two knee injuries in three years, Barrow medically retired, but placed his name in the transfer portal. He graduated from OSU in three years, then grad transferred to Central Florida. After just four games, Barrow entered the portal once again before finding a home at RU. As a result, I’m not sure what to expect from Barrow in his one year on the banks. He has red flags everywhere, but at the end of the day was quite a talent. The two stops he failed to generate more stats are very successful programs, so hopefully he can help Rutgers. After the Ron Johnson saga a year ago, you can understand why RU fans may have minimal expectations.
Position: DL (6’3”, 270 lbs.)
Previous stops: Ohio State, UCF
High School: IMG Academy
Hometown: Tampa, FL
Most notable offers (High School): Alabama, Ohio State
Barrow arrives at Rutgers to a defensive line group that loses team MVP Willington Previlon and was a patchwork operation as it was to steal snaps on the interior line from players who were better suited to play defensive end. The team based on most of its current personnel would be best served playing a Dick LeBeau Steelers style 3-4 look, but to do so needs two of three capable true nose guards which RU did not in 2019. You can never have enough defensive linemen and in the modern game, they can get acclimated in a variety of ways including situational roles like on the goal line. The defensive line always seems to sustain losses as players usually take a year or two to be ready for the college level and the rotation goes as many as ten deep on a good year. Rutgers needs to add as many three-star talents as possible and hope a few transform themselves into true disruptors.
Floor: Marquise Wright
Most likely: Charlie Noonan
Potential: Jonathan Freeny
Check out his highlights when he was a 4-star prospect below:
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