Joe De Croce had been committed since February 6th so it was merely a formality for him to make it official Wednesday as Rutgers honored his scholarship despite his season ending injury in 2021. Signing the 3-star prospect from North Jersey is an important pipeline addition to the 2022 recruiting class for Greg Schiano and the coaching staff.
247 Sports Composite Ranking: 3-star; 21st in NJ; 96th OT nationally
High School Position: OT (6’6”, 290 lbs.)
Projected college position: Offensive Guard
High School: Northern Valley at Demarest
Hometown: Demarest, NJ
Most notable other offers: Louisville, Maryland, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Syracuse
De Croce missed this season due to injury after being limited to just two games a season ago. He previously played at Don Bosco Prep where he showed an ability to wreck any defender who didn’t have proper leverage. Joe is just a really skilled offensive lineman at this point with a high floor that Rutgers needs to try and develop like Bryan Felter on the current roster. De Croce has good technique in pass protection but may struggle with the explosive athletes off the edge in the Big Ten especially after his knee injury (ACL and meniscus) that may reduce his quickness long-term and has kept him out of the weight room as a full partcipiant for a long stretch. He will get a look at tackle, but is probably better suited to the interior, maybe even an NFL sized center.
The Rutgers Offensive Line improved in some areas but appeared to regress in others in 2021. With limitations in the passing game, the staff elected to primarily play their best maulers in the run game, at the expense of pass protection against top teams. Unfortunately when defenses stacked the box, there were just too many guys for the offense to block. In the pass game, they did get more blame than was warranted when compared to how much time on the stopwatch they were providing quarterbacks to throw compared to other Big Ten teams. They key moving forward is stockpile as many Big Ten level athletes on the line as possible then developing them to be well-rounded players in all aspects.
Floor: Ryan Brodie
Most likely: Nick Krimin
Potential: Shaun O’Hara
Check out his highlights below:
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