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2021 Early Signing Period: Henry Hughes Signs With Rutgers Football

The Florida 3-star prospect is officially a Scarlet Knight.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Eastern Michigan at Rutgers
Hughes as an athlete is super underdeveloped. Turay came in similarly and developed into an NFL edge rusher.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Henry Hughes had been committed since May of this year so it was merely a formality for him to make it official Wednesday. The Florida pipeline continues for Greg Schiano with this signing.

Rutgers grabbed a verbal from the former basketball star and track athlete who did not play high school football as a sophomore. As a junior in 2019, his football tape was impressive. At times we overstate how a player is getting by on raw talent at the high school level but that is the situation here. Henry doesn’t even move at the snap, yet even with a second head start for every other player, he still runs right past his blocker and hits the quarterback before the ball can come out. Hughes just tosses backs out of the way who try to block him at the high school level. He is the type of high upside player who Rutgers needs to develop to add a dimension to their defense beyond the core competency. The Scarlet Knights did this in the early 1970s and also during Schiano 1.0, both of which resulted in some of the best years for the program.

247 Composite Ranking: 3-star; 126th in Florida; 55th WDE nationally

High School Position: DE (6’5”, 228 lbs.)

Projected college position: SDE

High School: Tampa Bay Tech

Hometown: Tampa, FL

Most notable other offers: Iowa State, Illinois, Minnesota

The Rutgers Defensive Line added reinforcements in 2020 through the transfer portal who were a mixed bag so the hope moving forward is that players can be signed out of high school to populate the ranks and develop accordingly. The Knights did not get much of a pass rush with their front four in 2020, so the hope is to be able to collapse the pocket in 2021 even if edge rushers aren’t ready yet. The team will get Position Coach Jim Panagos back after missing 2020 which may add a little more fire to the group, but an influx of talent would help massively as defensive linemen can contribute in a deep rotation earlier than other positions.

Floor: Manny Taylor

Most likely: Ron’Dell Carter

Potential: Kemoko Turay

Check out his highlights below:

Stick with On the Banks all day for more National Signing Day coverage.