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2022 Early Signing Period: Kenny Fletcher Signs With Rutgers Football

New Jersey’s top pass rusher stays home.

Rutgers v Maryland
Lewis (#71) is the prototype defensive end Rutgers sees in Fletcher.
Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images

Kenny Fletcher had been committed since March 5 so it was merely a formality for him to make it official Wednesday. Signing the 3-star prospect from Delran is an important addition to the 2022 recruiting class for Greg Schiano and the coaching staff.

247 Sports Composite Ranking: 3-star; 7th in NJ; 37th DE & 507th nationally

High School Position: WR/DE (6’4”, 215 lbs.)

Projected college position: Edge Rusher (Defensive End)

High School: Delran

Hometown: Delran, NJ

Most notable other offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Ole Miss, Kentucky

As is true with running backs at Wisconsin, when you see an edge rusher offered by Kentucky you know it’s impressive because of how many resources the Wildcats devoted to building its edge defense as the foundation of its entire program. Kenny spurned UK as well as 13 other Power Five schools to stay home in New Jersey. There is a chance he ends up at Tight End, showing good ball tracking as a receiver in high school but his biggest help to the program will be as a pass rusher. Kenny is a fluid athlete who has excellent feet and body control. His ceiling will be limited by his explosiveness, his short-term contributions by how quickly he can add the strength necessary to battle the behemoth tackles the Big Ten has to offer. He maintains his gap assignment and leverage well while getting low and exploding to meet the ball carrier in the run game.

The Rutgers Defensive Line improved in its run defense for the most part in 2021, but regressed in its ability to get sacks from its front four. With the losses of Julius Turner and Mike Tverdov, the need to find players who can rush the passer is magnified even further. Adding Defensive Ends who can pressure the outside and Defensive Tackles that can collapse the pocket from the interior is critical for Rutgers to generate the pressure that eluded them in 2021. It’s rare for defensive linemen to play their first season, but the two-deep will include redshirt freshmen already that have a very slim leg up on the incoming class.

Floor: Myles Nash

Most likely: Aaron Lewis

Potential: Val Barnaby

Check out his highlights below:

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