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Rutgers hires Marquise Watson as defensive line coach

The Scarlet Knights added a rising star to their coaching staff on Friday.

Rutgers v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The defensive staff for Rutgers looks a whole lot different just a few hours than it did on Friday morning.

It began when the Scarlet Knights announced the hiring Joe Harasymiak as the new defensive coordinator on Friday afternoon. Harasymiak, who hails from Waldwick, was previously the co-DC at Minnesota. Rutgers added another New Jersey native later in the evening on Friday night.

“Marquise is a great addition to the Rutgers Football Family,” Schiano said. “Already familiar with the area, Marquise will hit the ground running and play a big role in developing our players on the defensive line. He is one of the top young coaches in college football today.”

Marquise Watson was brought on board to be the new defensive line coach. This has been a position held by Jim Panagos for the previous two seasons. Panagos has not officially been removed from the staff but his position and status moving forward is unknown. There is still a spot remaining on Greg Schiano’s staff but Panagos has never coached another position.

Watson steps in after serving as a senior analyst at Ole Miss. He has made quite the impression as a young coach and will now return to his home state.

Watson is a native of Hillside and attended Paramus Catholic. As a player, Watson helped lead the Paladins to three consecutive state titles and was a three-time First Team All-State selection. Before moving onto college, the linebacker was named MVP of the North-South game in his final year.

During his career at Bryant, Watson played in 43 games and finished with 256 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 28.5 tackles-for-loss, and four forced fumbles.

Watson was a runing backs coach at Amherst early in his career before joining Rutgers as a GA in 2018. Watson worked under Chris Ash for a year before returning to Bryant. He was the defensive line coach of the Bulldogs for one year before moving to Ole Miss. This is where Watson reunited with Chris Partridge, who was his coach in high school.

With his return to Rutgers, Watson will come back to his home state and join the Scarlet Knights in a larger capacity. He is considered to be one of the most promising young coaches in the nation. Watson has also been credited with being a strong recruiter. He joins the likes of Schiano and Fran Brown, who have already made plenty of noise in this area in two years.

There has been a bit of turnover for the Scarlet Knights but with their recent hires, the program should continue to move forward. Watson is one of those bright spots that could help Rutgers reach its full potential.