Austin Dean had been committed since May of this year so it was merely a formality for him to make it official Wednesday.
Rutgers has a deep linebacker group, but there are mostly older players who won’t be on the banks much longer. We’ve seen a focus on speed on the perimeter, but in the heart of the defense Greg Schiano always goes for toughness mentally and physically so he went to a player he knew down in Florida with Austin Dean. Dean plays mostly defensive end in high school because he has a quick burst off the line which could come in handy with the variety of linebacker blitzes Rutgers utilizes in their defensive playbook. He needs some time to truly be an inside linebacker, but Robb Smith and Bob Fraser have done it before with so many other unheralded linebackers, this could turn out to be a key piece on the defense by 2023.
247 Composite Ranking: 3-star; 255th in Florida; 82nd ILB nationally
High School Position: DE/LB (6’2”, 215 lbs.)
Projected college position: Inside Linebacker
High School: Berkeley Prep
Hometown: Tampa, FL
Most notable other offers: Georgia State, Florida Atlantic
The Rutgers Linebackers had a good season in 2020, a mix of youth, experience, speed, skill, and toughness. Four of the six members of the two-deep are seniors so a lot of changes were expected heading into 2021. The blanket year of eligibility means that some will likely be back, though Tyshon Fogg and Olakunle Fatukasi could test the NFL waters after productive seasons to potentially cap off their careers. Head Coach Greg Schiano, Defensive Coordinator Robb Smith, and Linebacker coach Bob Fraser all have track records of producing NFL talent at the position though, even from two-star players, so there is incentive for high school players to join the ranks even if the room is very full for another season.
Floor: Jim Dumont Jr.
Most likely: Antonio Lowery
Potential: Jim Dumont Sr.
Check out his highlights below:
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