The Rutgers University football program and it’s head coach Kyle Flood, officially announced a 26 member recruiting class for 2014 yesterday. 20 student-athletes have signed to play football at Rutgers beginning in the fall of 2014. The six mid-year enrollees bring the total for the signing class to 26. This group will be the first recruiting class to head to the Big Ten for Rutgers.
Much has been made this off-season of a once highly regarded recruiting class that seemed to fall apart when many top-rated recruits flipped their commitments to other schools. Despite the unfortunate turn, Flood and his staff were still able to bring in 26 quality football players.
Of the 26, 11 come in on the offensive side of the ball while 14 are defensive players, at least for now. They’ve also brought in a special teams player, a long snapper.
The class features eight players from New Jersey, seven from Florida, three from New York, two from Minnesota, two from Pennsylvania, and one each from Michigan, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
Nine of the 26 recruits are interior lineman, an area that Rutgers needed to add depth and size. Rutgers will face many larger lineman in the Big Ten, so the Scarlet Knights were challenged with recruiting larger bodies while not loosing their tendency for bringing in athletic players.
“We needed to build depth up front on both sides of the ball,” said Flood. “And the opportunity to sign six defensive lineman and four offensive lineman, I feel we’ve done that and quite a few of them from New Jersey.”
Heading into spring practice, Rutgers will have a wide-open quarterback competition. Gary Nova lost the starting job to the now departed Chas Dodd late in the 2013 season. While Nova is the favorite to win the job, he will need to compete with others on the roster. Rutgers was able to bring in two more quarterbacks in this class.
Gio Rescigno is a 6’3, 240 lb quarterback from Warren, Michigan. Rescigno was not a highly recruited guy, mostly because he did not play quarterback until his senior year of high school at De La Salle. He played wide receiver his sophomore and junior seasons and was the backup QB to now-Michigan quarterback Shane Morris. After reviewing his tapes late in the recruiting process, ESPN.com increased his recruiting rankings to four-star.
Also included in this class is quarterback Philip Nelson, who transferred to Rutgers in January from Minnesota. Nelson is eligible to participate in spring practice but must sit out the entire fall season due to NCAA transfer rules. He will have two years of eligibility remaining starting in 2015.
Last season, Rutgers used a handful of true freshman for major playing time. When asked how many from this class could contribute immediately, Flood said the early enrollees have an advantage when it comes to playing right away.
“A guy like Marcus Applefield, on the offensive line. An area where we absolutely need to build depth.” said Flood. ”Eric Waife on the defensive line. And Kam Lott in the seconday. They’ll have an opportunity to help us right away.”
Also of note, Rutgers was able to land the Star-Ledger Defensive Player of the Year in Sidney Gopre from Weequahic HS.
Recruits by PositionDefensive Line – 5 Defensive Backfield – 5 Offensive Line – 4 Linebackers – 4 Tight-End – 2 Quarterback – 2 Running Back – 2 Fullback – 1 Long Snapper – 1
For a full list of the 2014 Rutgers Football Recruiting Class, visit ScarletKnights.com.
Side Notes: Kyle Flood announced during his recruiting class press conference that Tejay Johnson will move to wide receiver this spring.