It did not take long for 2023 offensive lineman John Stone to make his decision.
The Washington Township product received his first offer during the recruiting process from Rutgers during his official visit over the weekend. On Tuesday, Stone announced his commitment to the Scarlet Knights on Twitter. Stone is a local prospect who continues the trend of Greg Schiano recruiting in-state.
Stone is the first prospect from Washington Township to come to Rutgers since linebacker Ryan D’Imperio, who ended up a draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings. At 6-foot-3, 270 pounds, Stone is a standout on the football field and wrestling mat, where he is a heavyweight wrestler. Rutgers was the first offer for the junior and he did not waste time.
The decision from Stone comes one day after 2022 offensive lineman Brad Harris Jr. committed to the Scarlet Knights along with seven other signees for the position group in that class. The goal of Schiano is clear and that is to improve the offensive line — and unit as a whole, both in the short and long term. So far this offseason, he has done just that.
Willie Tyler transferred in from Louisiana-Monroe while J.D. DiRenzo came over from Sacred Heart. They will both be in the mix to potentially take over the left side of the offensive line. Curtis Dunlap (Minnesota) will also have a chance to compete for a starting spot. Mike Ciaffoni, whose father Joe played at Rutgers in the early 90’s, also joined the program and has three years remaining.
The Scarlet Knights have completely revamped their offensive line, along with adding some other additions at wide receiver. The offense seems to be deeper with more firepower than it was last season and that could make for major improvements.
Schiano and his staff have always prioritized keeping talent in the state of New Jersey. This is an instance where it seems to be working. The work on the Class of 2023 has begun and there should be some more fireworks soon enough.
For more on the outlook for the offensive line next season, click here for a deep dive.