Rutgers football needs all the help it can get on the offensive line, which was arguably the worst performing unit the past few seasons under former head coach Chris Ash. Current head coach Greg Schiano was successful in his first tenure at Rutgers in developing under the radar prospects and has added a few more since his return. The biggest in the class of 2020, at least in stature, recently committed as a walk-on. Hollin Pierce is a 6’8”, 380 pound offensive lineman from Fork Union Military Academy who previously attended Trenton Central high school. He announced his pledge on Twitter a few days ago.
Excited to announce my commitment to Rutgers University to play Division I football. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and the individuals who that believed in me. #CHOP #scarletknights @Coach_Aurich @GregSchiano pic.twitter.com/iQmipGJwht— Hollin Pierce (@PierceHollin) September 5, 2020
While Pierce did not hold any power five scholarship offers, there is little risk in Schiano and offensive line coach Andrew Aurich adding a walk-on like Pierce. You can’t teach size and if they can develop him from a raw prospect to a contributor in any form in the future, it would be a positive. How hard he works both on the physical and mental aspects of his game will help determine how much progress he can make at Rutgers. It’s possible Pierce could ultimately prove to be a big addition as a guard or tackle in more ways than one over time.
There have been several former walk-on’s that became successful players on the banks. Ultimately some that even played on Sundays after leaving Piscataway. Some of the most notable were Gary Brackett and Shaun O’Hara, both of whom won Super Bowls, as well as players that joined the roster during Schiano’s first tenure, including Michael Burton, Kevin Brock and Paul James. Schiano is making an effort to continue that strong tradition, as the Scarlet Knights have added almost two dozen walk-on players since his return last December. It’s a smart move in year one of the rebuilding process to add as many pieces as possible. Schiano has infused a lot of new players into the program as he reshapes the culture and hopefully additions like Pierce end up helping down the road. You can watch highlights of Pierce here.