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Top New Jersey OL Geno Van DeMark chooses Michigan State over Rutgers

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

The long awaited announcement from New Jersey’s top offensive lineman is finally here. On Saturday, Geno Van DeMark, the No. 4 ranked player in New Jersey, announced his commitment to Michigan State. The 6’4 guard has spent his high school career dominating for one of the biggest powerhouses in New Jersey in St. Joe’s Regional. He made his announcement via Twitter.

Van DeMark is a four-star recruit according to 247Sports. In June, he narrowed his list down to six schools. They were Michigan State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Arizona State, and Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights made Van DeMark a priority early in their recruiting. He is a big guard who can play either spot and has the tools necessary to play strong-side tackle.

“It’s obviously close to home, I have family ties, the potential to play early, and it has a great business school,” Van DeMark told back in June. “And I have great relationship within the staff.”

That relationship begins with Augie Hoffmann, who led the way in recruiting Van DeMark. Hoffmann spent the last six years as head coach at St. Joe’s Regional. During his tenure, Hoffmann led the Green Knights to a 50-19 record including two state championships in four appearances. Hoffmann will serve as the running backs coach for Rutgers.

Hoffmann has been a strong voice in the recruiting game for Rutgers since his arrival. Their current class for 2021 is a top-20 group in the nation. Hoffmann took the lead for the Scarlet Knights in the recruitment of Khayri Banton, the fifth ranked player in New Jersey. He also led the charge for Al-Shadee Salaam, Kyonte Hamilton, and Zaire Angoy.

“Augie is one of the most respected coaches in New Jersey,” said Greg Schiano of Hoffman. “As a leader of one of the top programs in the state, he has a proven track record of developing elite talent both on and off the field. Augie is a tireless worker and his reputation among the players and coaches in our state speaks for itself. We look forward to welcoming Augie and his family to Rutgers.”

Van DeMark’s decision could also impact that of New Jersey’s No. 1 running back Audric Estime. 247Sports has him ranked as the No. 7 recruit in the state. Estime and Van DeMark are teammates at St. Joe’s Regional and could decide to team up once again in college. Both were highly recruited by many schools, including Rutgers. Now that Van DeMark is off the board, it is time to focus on Estime’s decision.

Rutgers will keep an eye on Estime as time creeps closer to his decision. The Scarlet Knights are also in the mix for Ryan Keeler, the No. 1 defensive end in Illinois. The 6’5 prospect from Nazareth Academy in Chicago is expected to announce his decision in the upcoming weeks.