Earlier this week, assistant basketball coach Max Sass from Wesleyan College wrote a great article about a recent meeting with Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell. His interview gives great insight to Pikiell's background and plans for his future at Rutgers. The conversation is just another example that highlights Pikiell as an engaging, genuine person who loves basketball and talking about it. Well done by coach Sass and best of luck to him on his journey through the coaching ranks.
Rutgers has secured a huge commitment in former TCU QB Zach Allen. He was listed as a dual-threat QB in high school and has great size at 6-3 210. He graduated TCU in 3 years so is immediately eligible for Rutgers and will have 2 years of eligibility remaining. He will dive right into a QB competition that could feature 4 different players. We also wrote all about Allen here.
Holding a satellite camp at the high school is one thing. Having the Michigan head coach speak at graduation is pushing the envelope. But playing a game at the Big House? NCAA, are you even awake?
"You know, when the draft is over, there are a lot of guys that you had a lot of feeling for. Your scouts had a lot of feeling for that you think are going to fit into the scheme. And it's a matter of trying to sell that to them and how it can best match their skills. He was a guy, I remember one of the scouts coming to me a couple weeks before the draft and asking me to look at him. Knowing we weren't going to have a whole lot of draft picks and we were going to have to hit on some of those free agents. I saw a stat, you guys would probably have to look it up more than I know, but it had something to do with like Pro Bowl players and it was like the number of first rounders of first Pro Bowl players, number of second rounders, number of third rounders. Well, after first, second, third rounders, by far the greatest concentration of Pro Bowl players have come from undrafted free agents. We just talked about Rodney McLeod coming in the same way. Those guys all have an opportunity. He's played inside and outside, he's strong. Like a lot of rookies his head is swimming right now. They're working really hard to try to get ahead of the curve so that when camp comes, they can show their very best. He's on the right track, but he's got a long way to go."
Last night, Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs and football coach Chris Ash threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Yankees game. It was to kick off the R B1G Tour, which will include various stops throughout the tri-state area in the next month. This video from RVision gives a behind the scenes look at the experience last night.
Last night in Chicago, two Rutgers legends reunited. Chicago White Sox star Todd Frazier and WNBA star Cappy Pondexter hung out before the game on the field. Pondexter was there, along with her Chicago Sky teammates, to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The two were at Rutgers at the same time from 2004-2006. They have both gone on to have successful professional careers. However, it all started for them on the banks and it was a great sight to see them together last night.
Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press reported last night that Rutgers has settled a lawsuit with former basketball player Derrick Randall. He sued the university in 2013 as a result of his mistreatment by then head coach Mike Rice. Randall finished his career at Pitt. Carino's article breaks down the settlement.
Rutgers football put out its latest promotional video today and it is must see TV! If you love Rutgers, this video will probably give you chills. It highlights the positive changes in the program, while also saluting past history with several classic clips of old triumphs. All in all, it's extremely well done and closes with an ode to our home state. Jersey Strong indeed!Note: Video was changed to end with RU Strong instead.
Rutgers Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs will hold a press conference to give an update on the R B1G Build Update today at 11am. Hobbs hinted there was a big update coming two plus weeks ago at the Rutgers football spring game. Hopefully, he will report positive news today regarding an update on funding for the project, as well as updates on the basketball practice facility. You can watch live on the link provided. OTB will have full updates after the press conference.