Rutgers Football Headed Toward Top 25 Recruiting Class?
Added by Gregg Snyder on January 25, 2011.
Rutgers fans have something to ease the burden of last years disappointing football season. Head coach Greg Schiano and his staff are putting together quite the recruiting class for 2011.
Currently the class is ranked 32nd in the nation by Scout.com and has the potential to bust into the Top 25 if a couple more big name players decide to enter The Banks. Schiano has received 23 verbal commitments so far as the February 2nd National Signing Day approaches.
The class currently ranks as the best in the Big East. The closest Big East rival is Louisville who’s class is ranked 35th.
The biggest need for Rutgers is on the offensive line. The Scarlet Knights have been able to address that need. Four offensive lineman have committed to play for Rutgers next season, including one junior college transfer in center Dallas Hendrikson. The Scarlet Knights will also be getting the services of two lineman that have been rated as four-star athletes by Scout.com, Josue Matias and Keith Lumpkin. Both Matias and Lumpkin are in state recruits with the potential to become stars.
Joining Matias and Lumpkin as four-star recruits are wide receiver Miles Shuler and cornerback Lafayette Pitts. Shuler, who played in the U.S. Army All-American Game, is one of the fastest players in the country. Pitts had originally committed to Pittsburgh but changed his mind after the coaching changes.
The Scarlet Knights also have commitments from 12 three-star prospects. One of which fills a big need at quarterback. Since Tom Savage made his decision to transfer, Rutgers was left with just one quarterback that is healthy and has experience. Chas Dodd enters his sophomore season as the starter but will likely be pushed hard by incoming freshman Gary Nova. Nova comes from Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey, one of the nations most successful high school programs.
Other three-star prospects like Kenneth Kirksey, Quentin Gause, Jonathan Aiken, and Al Page among others, have tremendous upside.
Rutgers has done an excellent job recruiting their needs this offseason. Schiano has also done a much better job in getting some of New Jersey’s top players to stay home and play for their state school.
While it may not be a Top 25 class just yet, there are a few players still undecided that could help the Scarlet Knights make that jump. If Rutgers can get the commitments of Max Issaka, Savon Huggins, and Marquise Wright, it would surely be the best class in the history of Rutgers football.
Wright is a four-star defensive lineman that has always been fond of Rutgers. The problem was that Rutgers for some reason never extended an offer until recently. Will the late offer hurt the Knights? We have to wait and see. Wright would be huge for this team as they could use someone of his caliber on the defensive front. He is also being recruited by Michigan State, Maryland, Pittsburgh, among others.
Issaka is another former Pittsburgh commit that Rutgers has gotten back involved with. The Woodbridge, New Jersey defensive end is a three-star prospect. With great size at 6-3, 220, Issaka could be used at defensive end or linebacker at Rutgers. It’s also been said that Rutgers could go out of their norm and use Issaka as a hybrid type player.
The biggest name however is Savon Huggins, a five-star running back from St. Peter’s Prep in New Jersey. Huggins would certainly put this recruiting class over the top. Huggins has been compared to running backs like Barry Sanders and former Rutgers star Ray Rice.
The recruitment of Huggins is somewhat of an unknown. Some believe he will stay in state of be the new face of Rutgers football, while others believe North Carolina is the front runner. Notre Dame is also very much in the mix for Huggins, ranked as the fourth best running back in the country. Huggins has a press conference schedule for Friday, January 28th at which time he will announce his decision.
Rutgers fans all over the internet are buzzing about the potential of this years recruiting class. Once again, the future looks bright on the banks of the ole’ Raritan.
Recruits can officially sign letters of intent on Wednesday February 2nd.