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3-star linebacker Austin Dean commits to Rutgers football

He is the second straight recruit from Tampa, Florida to become a Scarlet Knight.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 23 Michigan State at Rutgers Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Rutgers football received its 15th verbal commitment for the 2021 recruiting class on Tuesday, as 3-star linebacker Austin Dean pledged to the program.

The 6’2”, 215 pound inside linebacker is from Berkley Prep in Tampa, Florida, which is the same school at that Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano had one of his sons attend when he lived there. Dean joins 2021 defensive end Henry Hughes from the Tampa area, who committed to Rutgers a few days ago.

Dean holds close to two dozen offers, but Rutgers was his only power five offer. However, 247 Sports lists Northwestern, Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Washington State as programs that were interested in Dean. He is ranked nationally as the 60th best inside linebacker in the 2021 class per 247 composite rankings.

He projects as a middle linebacker (MIKE) at Rutgers, which is a crucial role in the defense, and could develop into an asset on special teams as well. As a junior, Dean had 40 tackles, 21 for a loss, including 6 sacks, while also blocking 3 punts and 1 field goal on special teams, per MaxPreps.

Rutgers now has seven out of state commits in the 2021 class to go along with eight from New Jersey. As of Tuesday, the 2021 recruiting class ranks 21st nationally and 8th in the Big Ten per 247 composite rankings. Here are junior season highlights for Dean.