We are just into Spring Practice for many college football teams, including Rutgers who began on Friday. The Scarlet Knights secured a verbal commitment from athlete and two-way standout Sofian Massoud, out of Cardinal Hayes in the Bronx. The first member of the 2020 recruiting class, he announced today via twitter.
The New York City product holds offers from two other Power Five schools already (Boston College and Virginia) per 247sports. Fellow Big Ten schools Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State have also shown interest as well. At 6’1” and 180 pounds, Massoud is almost a four star prospect with a year to play, the 3rd best overall in New York State for the 2020 class according to the 247 composite which includes other sources. 247 itself has him as the 3rd best player in state and 21st best athlete in the country.
Rutgers is recruiting Sofian at quarterback, one of the reasons he chose the Scarlet Knights over other teams who were pursuing him at defensive back. An athlete like Massoud is often recruited by major programs to play another position, especially early on in the cycle. Rutgers was willing to offer the QB position as they did with Zamar Wise previously in the hopes of securing such an elite talent.
As a quarterback, Massoud shows tremendous poise and good feet which help his pocket presence. It’s worth noting in his highlights Sofian completes to a variety of different pass routes including intermediate cross, deep cross, seam, post, and a number of other back shoulder throws. He’s no one trick pony when unleashing the ball downfield and is always a threat to run. Massoud’s highlight reel includes a lot of plays as a safety as well where his instincts are on full display. These don’t translate apples to apples in all three phases, but it sure can’t hurt.
By virtue of his athleticism, Massoud can often be very risk averse right after the snap and not have to force throws into tight windows. He will have less time to make plays in the Big Ten and will need to throw the ball to the first open read. His ball has some good zip on it, but sometimes he slings the ball from a low angle and is at risk for being batted down at the line of scrimmage.
Massoud is at worst a high three-star athlete who will compete somewhere on the field, even if not quarterback, in his career. He most likely will be able to contribute in quarterback sub packages by his second season a la Ray Lucas. Plain and simple Massoud could be a star with dual-threat potential not seen at the QB position on the banks in quite some time.
I like the pickup because Massoud is the first player in this class and as a quarterback he will be seen as a leader of the group who can more easily recruit other players. It also demonstrates a willingness of the RU coaching staff to explore a more flexible offensive approach. Rutgers isn’t going to surpass Big Ten East foes Michigan and Ohio State in the trenches anytime soon, so it makes sense that a mobile quarterback with elite athleticism could escape pressure and make a few plays the traditional pocket passer cannot.
Here are some of Massoud’s highlights:
Welcome to the banks Sofian!