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Chris Ash, Rutgers Football Announces 2017 Recruiting Class

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Feb. 1, 2017) – Rutgers head football coach Chris Ash announced the Scarlet Knights’ 29-member recruiting class Wednesday on National Signing Day. All have signed to continue their academic and athletic careers at Rutgers.

Jamal Beaty, Brendan Bordner, Micah Clark, Damon Mitchell and Samuel Vretman have already enrolled at Rutgers and will participate in spring drills in March.

The remaining recruiting class is comprised of Ryan Anderson, Elijah Barnwell, Tim Barrow, Raheem Blackshear, Owen Bowles, Justin Davidovicz, Brendan DeVera, Jaohne Duggan,Olakunle Fatukasi, Tyshon Fogg, Hunter Hayek, Tyler Hayek, Naijee Jones, Shameen Jones, Eddie Lewis, Johnathan Lewis, Edwin Lopez, Tijuan Mason, Bo Melton, CJ Onyechi, Syhiem Simmons, Mike Tverdov, Travis Vokolek and Everett Wormley.

Anderson (Olivet College) and Mitchell (Arkansas) will join the Scarlet Knights as graduate transfers with both eligible to play their final immediately in 2017.

 

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown High School
Ryan Anderson P 6-1 210 DeWitt, Mich. DeWitt (Olivet College)
Elijah Barnwell RB 5-10 200 Piscataway, N.J. Piscataway
Tim Barrow ATH 5-11 170 Staten Island, N.Y. Tottenville
Jamaal Beaty * OL 6-3 260 Holmdel, N.J. St. John Vianney
Raheem Blackshear RB 5-9 175 Warminster, Pa. Archbishop Wood
Brendan Bordner * DL 6-5 240 Hilliard, Ohio Hilliard Bradley
Owen Bowles OL 6-4 270 Egg Harbor City, N.J. Cedar Creek
Micah Clark * OL 6-5 250 Holmdel, N.J. St. John Vianney
Justin Davidovicz PK 5-9 160 Bridgewater, N.J. Bridgewater-Raritan
Brendan DeVera FB 6-1 240 Wayne, N.J. Wayne Hills
Jaohne Duggan DL 6-1 270 Bethlehem, Pa. Liberty
Olakunle Fatukasi LB 6-1 205 Far Rockaway, N.Y. Grand Street Campus
Tyshon Fogg LB 6-2 240 Baltimore, Md. Calvert Hall
Hunter Hayek ATH 5-10 160 Wayne, N.J. Wayne Hills
Tyler Hayek WR 6-4 170 Wayne, N.J. Wayne Hills
Naijee Jones DB 5-11 190 Erial, N.J. Timber Creek
Shameen Jones WR 6-2 170 Bronx, N.Y. Cardinal Hayes
Eddie Lewis WR 6-0 180 Middletown, N.J. Mater Dei Prep
Johnathan Lewis QB 6-3 225 Jersey City, N.J. St. Peter’s Prep
Edwin Lopez DB 5-11 160 Camden, N.J. Woodrow Wilson
Tijuan Mason DL 6-6 210 Memphis, Tenn. Trezevant
Bo Melton WR 5-11 175 Egg Harbor City, N.J. Cedar Creek
Damon Mitchell * WR 6-2 205 Egg Harbor City, N.J. Cedar Creek (Arkansas)
CJ Onyechi LB 6-1 215 West Orange, N.J. West Orange
Syhiem Simmons LB 5-11 180 Jersey City, N.J. George Washington Carver (Ala.)
Mike Tverdov DL 6-4 230 Union, N.J. Union
Travis Vokolek TE 6-5 220 Springfield, Mo. Kickapoo
Samuel Vretman * OL 6-6 300 Stockholm, Sweden Cheshire Academy (Conn.)
Everett Wormley WR 6-0 195 Burlington, N.J. Burlington Township

* – Indicates mid-year enrollee

 

Ryan Anderson

P · 6-1 · 210

DeWitt, Mich./DeWitt (Olivet College (Mich.))

2016 (Senior at Olivet): Appeared in 11 games as team’s primary punter while also seeing time  at receiver … 2016 D3football.com All-America Second Team and All-North Region selection at punter … American Football Coaches Association All-American … All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association honoree … voted 2016 COSIDA Academic All-American of the Year … finished 2016 season with an NCAA Division III single-season record 46.2-yard punting average … punted 47 times, with 18 punts going more than 50 yards … longest punt was 65 yards … also had 15 punts land inside the opponents 20-yard line and nine punts go for touchbacks … contributed 11 receptions for 129 yards, including a season-high 30 yard reception … helped Comets to a 9-2 record and an outright MIAA title. 

Prior to Olivet: Played football at Division II Saginaw Valley State prior to transferring to Olivet … coached by Rob Zimmerman at DeWitt High School … played baseball, basketball and football in high school and earned three varsity letters … junior year garnered first team all-area and all-conference in football … was first team all-area and all-conference and received Best Offensive Player and Chairman of the Boards awards in basketball … in his senior football campaign, named First Team All-State by the Detroit News and Detroit Free PressAssociated Press All-State honorable mention, first team all-area and all-conference … selected to East-West All Star game and Lansing State Journal Dream Team … recipient of team captain and best back honors.

Elijah Barnwell

RB · 5-10 · 200

Piscataway, N.J./Piscataway

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Dan Higgins at Piscataway … played running back and outside linebacker in high school … finished career with a school-record 5,728 rushing yards along with 75 rushing scores … helped the Chiefs to an 11-2 record and a NJSIAA Central Jersey Group 5 state championship … concluded 2016 season with 1,898 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground … averaged 7.6 yards-per-carry as a senior … added 49 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss, five passes defended, and interception and a sack at linebacker … First Team All-State, All-Group 5, All-County and Greater Middlesex Conference Football Player of the Year by the Star-Ledger … 2016 All-Metro Football First Team by MSGVarsity … First Team All-Area on offense by the Home News Tribune … First Team All-State by USA Today … had 1,743 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior … First Team All-Group 5 and Second Team All-State by the Star-Ledger … a three-star prospect and 41st-overall recruit in New Jersey by247Sports.

Elijah Barnwell (Photo by Lauren Guillen - Double G Media)

Elijah Barnwell (Photo by Lauren Guillen – Double G Media)

Tim Barrow 
ATH · 5-11 · 170
Staten Island, N.Y./Tottenville

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Jim Munson at Tottenville … appeared at wide receiver, defensive back and returner during scholastic career … helped the Pirates to a 6-4 record in 2016 … led Tottenville with 30 receptions for 682 yards and six touchdowns as a senior … Second Team All-New York on defense by USA Today … Advance All-Star as an all-purpose player by SILive.com … finished with 18 receptions for 401 yards and four touchdowns as a junior … consensus three-star athlete … second-best athlete in New York by Scout … fourth-overall recruit in the Empire State and No. 46 athlete nationally by ESPN … eighth-overall recruit in the state by Rivals … top-10 prospect in New York by 247Sports.

Jamaal Beaty
OL · 6-3 · 260
Holmdel, N.J./St. John Vianney

Prior to Rutgers: Enrolled in January and will participate in 2017 spring practice … coached by Derek Sininsky at St. John Vianney … two-way lineman during high school career … helped the Lancers to a 10-1 record and a Shore Conference Class A Central title during senior campaign … St. John Vianney also advanced to the semifinals of the NJSIAA Non-Public, Group 3 playoffs … started on an offensive line that helped the Lancers’ leading rusher to 1,237 yards and 16 touchdowns … also played defensive tackle … Second Team All-Non Public by the Star-Ledger … Third Team All-Shore by the Asbury Park Press … three-star prospect and top-35 player in New Jersey by Rivals … 25th-best player in the state and a three-star lineman by ESPN …  stepbrother of fellow 2017 signee Micah Clark.

Raheem Blackshear
RB · 5-9 · 175
Warminster, Pa./Archbishop Wood Catholic

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Steve Devlin at Archbishop Wood Catholic … helped the Vikings to a 11-2 record and a PIAA Class AAAAA state title … produced 236 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the championship game … finished 2016 with 1,257 yards rushing with 19 touchdowns on the ground … also caught 26 passes for 433 yards and five receiving scores … First Team 5A All-State selection as an athlete by the Pennsylvania Football Writers … contributed 409 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns along with 395 receiving yards and seven touchdown receptions as a junior … three-star prospect and second overall running back in Pennsylvania by Scout … 29th best recruit in the Keystone State and a three-star player by ESPN … top-40 player in the state and a three-star recruit by 247Sports.

Brendan Bordner
DL · 6-5 · 240
Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley

Prior to Rutgers: Enrolled in January and will participate in 2017 spring practice … coached by Mike LoParo at Hilliard Bradley … led the Jaguars to a 9-2 record and an Ohio Cardinal Division Championship … All-Central District Second Team by the Newark Advocate … tabbed a top-100 player in Ohio by Cleveland.com … collected 47 tackles and 4.5 sacks as a junior … named Second Team All-Ohio Capitol Conference as a junior … consensus three-star recruit … 35th-best player in Ohio by Rivals … second-best defensive end prospect in the Buckeye State by Scout … three-star prospect by ESPN … No. 47 overall defensive end nationally by 247Sports.

Owen Bowles
OL · 6-4 · 270
Egg Harbor City, N.J./Cedar Creek

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Tim Watson at Cedar Creek … two-way lineman during scholastic career … led the Pirates to a 10-2 record and an appearance in the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 2 final as a senior … helped Cedar Creek quarterback become one of the top passers in New Jersey, as he threw for more than 2,300 yards with 21 touchdowns …collected 53 tackles, 12 tackles-for-loss and five sacks on defense … Third Team All-State and First Team All-Group 2 by the Star-Ledger … First Team Football All-Star at defensive tackle by the Press of Atlantic City … All-South Jersey on defense by the Courier-Post … Cedar Creek captured 2015 NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 2 Championship as a junior … started along the offensive line and produced 35.5 tackles and 10.5 tackles-for-loss during junior season …… First Team Football All-Star by the Press of Atlantic City as a junior … consensus three-star recruit … top center prospect in New Jersey and seventh nationally by Rivals … best center in the Garden State and second overall in the East by Scout … three-star lineman by ESPN … top-25 recruit in New Jersey by 247Sports … high school teammate of fellow 2017 signee Bo Melton.

Micah Clark
OL · 6-5 · 250
Holmdel, N.J./St. John Vianney

Prior to Rutgers: Enrolled in January and will participate in 2017 spring practice … coached by Derek Sininsky at St. John Vianney … two-way lineman during high school career … helped the Lancers to a 10-1 record and a Shore Conference Class A Central title during senior campaign … St. John Vianney also advanced to the semifinals of the NJSIAA Non-Public, Group 3 playoffs … anchored an offensive line that helped the Lancers’ leading rusher to 1,237 yards and 16 touchdowns … also played along the defensive line and accumulated 44 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss, two sacks and a caused turnover … First Team All-State, All-Non Public and All-Shore Conference by the Star-Ledger … 2016 All-Metro First Team by MSG Varsity … First Team All-Shore Conference by the Asbury Park Press … contributed to St. John Vianney’s appearance in the NJSIAA Non-Public, Group 3 championship game as a junior … First Team All-Non Public, First Team All-Shore and Second Team All-State by the Star-Ledger as a junior … a consensus four-star recruit … top player in New Jersey and 44th overall prospect in the country according to Scout … third-best player in New Jersey and 170th in the country by Rivals … top-300 prospect and sixth-best in the Garden State by ESPN … second overall player in New Jersey by 247Sports … also an accomplished high school wrestler who went 34-6 at heavyweight during junior season and reached the state finals as a sophomore and junior … stepbrother of fellow 2017 signee Jamaal Beaty.

Justin Davidovicz
PK · 5-9 · 160
Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Scott Bray at Bridgewater-Raritan … primary punter and kicker for the Panthers … helped Bridgewater-Raritan to an 11-1 record, including an undefeated regular season, and an appearance in the NJSIAA North 2, Group 5 championship game … finished 2016 14-of-20 on field goals with a long of 43 yards … also made 39 extra points and had 50 kickoffs go for touchbacks … First Team All-State, All-Group 5 and All-Mid-State 38 All Star by the Star-Ledger … First Team All-Metro by MSGVarsity … First Team Mid-State 38 All-Area by the Courier News … First Team All-Delaware Division as voted by the coaches … also was 10-of-14 on field goals and made 30-of-33 extra as a junior … First Team All-Group 5 and Second Team All-State by the Star-Ledger in 2015 … also contributed to the Panther’s appearance in the 2015 North 2, Group 5 title game … ranked as the top kicker in New Jersey, the No. 18 kicker nationally and a five-star kicking recruit by Chris Sailer.

Brendan DeVera
FB · 6-1 · 240
Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Wayne Demikoff at Wayne Hills … projects to fullback at the college level … two-way player for the Patriots, competing as the team’s starting quarterback and at linebacker as a senior … helped Wayne Hills to an 11-1 record and a NJSIAA North Jersey 1, Group 4 title … finished 2016 with 2,221 passing yards and 37 touchdowns, while also rushing for 632 yards on 75 carries with six scores on the ground … also contributed 89 tackles with six tackles-for-loss and two sacks … First Team All-State and First Team All-Group 4 by the Star-Ledger … First Team All-Metro by MSG Varsity … First Team All- Passaic County and All-Freedom White Division by NorthJersey.com … helped Wayne Hills advance to the North Jersey 1, Group 4 final as a junior … finished with 1,453 yards passing yards and 21 touchdowns along with 751 yards rushing and six scores during junior campaign … high school teammates of 2017 signees Hunter and Tyler Hayek.

Brendan DeVera (Photo by Catalina Fragoso - Double G Media)

Brendan DeVera (Photo by Catalina Fragoso – Double G Media)

Jaohne Duggan
DL · 6-1 · 270
Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by John Truby at Liberty … competed along the defensive line and at tight end for the Hurricanes during scholastic career … finished senior season with 76 tackles, 20 tackles-for-loss and 14 sacks … First Team Pennsylvania Football Writers Class 6A All-State on defense … Eastern Pennsylvania Conference First Team All-South at defensive end and Second Team All-South at tight end by the coaches … collected 50 tackles, 13 tackles-for-loss and 10 sacks as a junior … Class AAAA First Team All-State on defense by the Pennsylvania Football Writers … second-overall defensive tackle prospect in Pennsylvania by Scout … three-star recruit and 15th-best player in the Keystone State by ESPN … three-star prospect by 247Sports.

Olakunle Fatukasi 
LB · 6-1 · 205
Far Rockaway, N.Y./Grand Street Campus

Prior to Rutgers: Helped Grand Street Campus to a 7-5 record and an appearance in the PSAL City Conference semifinals in 2016 … finished senior campaign with 131 tackles, five sacks, four fumble recoveries and two interceptions … First Team All-New York by USA Today … First Team All-Metro First Team Defense by MSG Varsity … First Team All-Brooklyn by the Brooklyn-Daily … added 58 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, three caused fumbles and two sacks as a junior … consensus three-star recruit … top outside linebacker and third-overall prospect in New York by Scout … No. 1 outside linebacker and seventh-best recruit in the Empire State by Rivals … fifth-overall player in the state by 247Sports … pegged a top-10 prospect in New York by ESPN … brother, Folorunso, plays football at Connecticut … played at same high school as current Rutgers wide receiver Ahmad Bah and offensive lineman Kamaal Seymour.

Tyshon Fogg
LB · 6-2 · 240
Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall 

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Donald Davis at Calvert Hall … helped the Cardinals to a 7-5 record as a senior … finished last season with 49 tackles, a sack and an interception … Second Team All-Metro by theBaltimore Sun … Second Team All-Maryland by USA Today …  selected to compete in the Maryland Crab Bowl All-Star game … First Team All-State by the Capital Gazette as a junior … 2015 Private School All-State by the Maryland media … consensus four-star recruit … No. 2 linebacker in Maryland and 23rd-overall outside linebacker nationally by Rivals … No. 3 outside linebacker in the East and 12th-overall outside linebacker in the country by Scout … seventh-best player in Maryland by ESPN … 15th-best outside linebacker nationally by 247Sports … originally from Asbury Park, New Jersey before moving to Maryland in sixth grade.

Hunter Hayek  
ATH · 5-10 · 160
Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Wayne Demikoff at Wayne Hills … two-way player for the Patriots, competing in the slot and at cornerback as a senior … helped Wayne Hills to an 11-1 record and a NJSIAA North Jersey 1, Group 4 title … finished 2016 with 1,233 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns, including 896 yards receiving and 14 touchdown receptions … also contributed 39 tackles, nine passes defended, five interceptions, four fumble recoveries and two sacks as a defensive back … Second Team All-Group 4 on defense and Third Team All-State by the Star-Ledger … First Team All- Passaic County and All-Freedom White Division by NorthJersey.com … helped Wayne Hills advance to the North Jersey 1, Group 4 final as a junior … contributed 213 yards receiving and three touchdowns on offense and added 23 tackles and three interceptions during junior campaign … also a standout track athlete who secured Group 3, North 1 section titles in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay for Wayne Hills … twin brother of Rutgers commit Tyler Hayek … also high school teammates of Rutgers signee Brendan DeVera.

Tyler Hayek 
WR · 6-4 · 170
Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills


Prior to Rutgers: 
Coached by Wayne Demikoff at Wayne Hills … two-way player for the Patriots, competing at wide receiver and cornerback as a senior … helped Wayne Hills to an 11-1 record and a NJSIAA North Jersey 1, Group 4 title … finished 2016 with 29 receptions for 500 yards and nine touchdowns … also contributed 31 tackles, eight passes defended and an interception on defense … Third Team All-State and Second Team All-Group 4 on defense by the Star-Ledger … First Team All-Division by NorthJersey.com … helped Wayne Hills advance to the North 1, Group 4 final as a junior … played his freshman and sophomore seasons at St. Joseph Montvale before transferring to Wayne Hills … three-star athlete by 247Sports … 35th-overall prospect in New Jersey by Rivals … also competed in track and field and finished second in the 200m at the NJSIAA North 1, Group 2&3 Championships … twin brother of Rutgers commit Hunter Hayek … also high school teammates of Rutgers signee Brendan DeVera.

Tyler Hayek (Photo by Catalina Fragoso - Double G Media)

Tyler Hayek (Photo by Catalina Fragoso – Double G Media)

Naijee Jones 
DB · 5-11 · 190
Erial, N.J./Timber Creek

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Robert Hinson at Timber Creek … played on both sides of the ball for the Chargers … helped Timber Creek finish 12-0 and secure the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 4 Championship as a senior … finished 2016 campaign with 53 tackles, four passes defended, two sacks and two interceptions … Third Team All-Group 4 by the Star-Ledger … Third Team All-South Jersey by the Courier-Post … added 41 tackles and two interceptions to contribute to Timber Creek’s South Jersey Group 4 Championship in 2015 as a junior … three-star recruit and third-best cornerback in New Jersey by Scout … three-star cornerback by ESPN … 32nd-overall player in the Garden State by 247Sports … attended same high school as current Rutgers linebacker Tyreek Maddox-Williams and tight end Myles Nash.

Shameen Jones 
WR · 6-2 · 170
Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by CJ O’Neil at Cardinal Hayes … missed entire senior season due to injury in 2016 … hauled in 48 receptions for 1,068 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior … helped the Cardinals to a 9-3 record and an appearance in the NYCHSFL Class AAA Final in 2015 … named 2015 First Team All-New York City by MSG Varsity … Honorable Mention All-Bronx by the Bronx Times … consensus three-star recruit … top wide receiver prospect in New York by Scout … sixth overall prospect in the Empire State by Rivals … third-best receiver in New York and a three-star player by ESPN … 12th-overall prospect according to 247Sports … also competed in track and field in high school and competed in the Penn Relays as a junior.

Eddie Lewis

WR · 6-0 · 170

Middletown, N.J./Mater Dei

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Dino Mangiero at Mater Dei … helped the Seraphs capture their first NJSIAA section title, taking a lateral on a hook-and-ladder play 45 yards in the final seconds for the game-winning touchdown in the Non Public Group II championship game … finished 2016 with 24 receptions for 547 yards and 15 touchdowns … also contributed 402 kick return yards and a 94-yard punt return for a touchdown as a senior … First Team All-Non-Public, All-Shore Conference, All-Division and Third Team All-State by the Star-Ledger … First Team All-Shore by the Asbury Park Press and All Shore Sports Network … contributed 449 receiving yards and four touchdowns as a junior … competed for Team USA at the 2016 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Under-19 World Championship in Habrin, China … produced 28 receptions for 387 yards and five touchdowns in four games to help Team USA secure a silver medal … consensus three-star recruit … second best receiver in New Jersey and No. 13 overall recruit in the state by Rivals … third overall pass catcher in the Garden State and No. 12 in the Northeast by Scout …. rated the 24th overall recruit in New Jersey by ESPN … pegged the No. 24 best prospect in the state by 247Sports … also played basketball at Mater Dei.

Johnathan Lewis
QB · 6-3 · 225
Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter’s Prep

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Rich Hansen at St. Peter’s Prep … led Marauders to an 8-4 record and an appearance in the NJSIAA Non Public, Group 4 Championship game in 2016 … accounted for 1,557 passing yards and 10 touchdowns through the air while adding 992 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground … First Team All-State and All-Non Public by the Star-Ledger … 2016 All-Metro First Team by MSG Varsity … added 1,669 passing yards with 19 touchdowns and 501 rushing yards and eight scores as a junior … consensus three-star signal caller … top quarterback in New Jersey and 15th-best dual-threat quarterback in the country by Rivals … top-25 recruit in the Garden State by ESPN … top signal caller in New Jersey and No. 2 overall QB recruit in the East by Scout … 16th-best dual-threat thrower nationally by 247Sports … attended same high school as current Rutgers defensive back K.J. Gray.

Johnathan Lewis (Photo by Catalina Fragoso - Double G Media)

Johnathan Lewis (Photo by Catalina Fragoso – Double G Media)

Edwin Lopez
DB · 5-11 · 160
Camden, N.J./Woodrow Wilson

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Preston Brown at Woodrow Wilson … two-way player at receiver and safety in high school … helped the Tigers to a 6-4 record and an appearance in the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 3 playoffs as a senior … finished 2016 with 20 tackles and an interception along with 139 receiving yards and two scores … First Team All-South Jersey by the Courier-Post … Second Team All-South Jersey by Philly.com … Third Team All-Group 3 by the Star-Ledger … consensus three-star recruit … second-overall safety prospect in New Jersey by Scout … 17th-overall player in the Garden State by ESPN … 19th-best recruit in New Jersey by 247Sports … three-star athlete by Rivals.

Tijaun Mason
DL · 6-6 · 210
Memphis, Tenn./Trezevant

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Teli White at Trezevant … helped the Bears to six wins and an appearance in the Tennessee 2A State final in 2016 … finished senior campaign with 19 tackles and four sacks … First Team Class 2A All-State by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association … Region 7 2A Defensive Player of the Year as voted by the coaches … Second Team All-State by USA Today … helped Trezevant capture the 2015 Class 2A state title as a junior, recording two sacks in the championship game … selected to AutoZone Liberty Bowl High School All-Star Game … finished junior season with 35 tackles and five sacks in 11 games … consensus three-star recruit … top defensive end in Tennessee by Scout … third overall defensive end and top-35 recruit in the Volunteer State by Rivals … top-40 recruit in the state and No. 76 defensive end nationally by 247Sports.

Bo Melton
WR · 5-11 · 175
Egg Harbor City, N.J./Cedar Creek

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Tim Watson at Cedar Creek … led the Pirates to a 10-2 record and an appearance in the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 2 final as a senior … despite an injury sustained early in his final season, finished with 51 receptions for 766 yards and nine touchdowns … also added 451 rushing yards and seven scores on the ground … First Team All-State and All-Group 2 by the Star-Ledger … Athlete of the Fall and First Team Football All-Star by the Press of Atlantic City … First Team All-South Jersey by Philly.com … All-South Jersey Offense by the Courier-Post … accumulated 13 rushing touchdowns with 742 yards on the ground and added 31 catches for 676 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior … helped Cedar Creek capture 2015 NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 2 Championship as a junior … First Team All-State and All-Group 2 as a junior by the Star-Ledger … also the Star-Ledger’s Cape-Atlantic League Football Player of the Year in 2015 … Offensive Player of the Year by the Courier-Post … a consensus four-star recruit and top wide receiver in New Jersey … seventh-best player in New Jersey and a top-50 pass catcher nationally by Rivals … top receiver in the Garden State and 54th-best wideout nationally by Scout … pegged the top wide receiver in New Jersey by ESPN … 34th-best pass catcher in the country by 247Sports … also plays basketball and competes in track and field at Cedar Creek … captured the Cape-Atlantic League 200m, 400m and long jump titles in 2016 … father, Gary, played wide receiver and running back at Rutgers from 1987-91 … mother, Vicky, competed on the Rutgers women’s basketball team from 1989-93 … high school teammate of fellow 2017 signee Owen Bowles.

Damon Mitchell  
WR · 6-2 · 205
Egg Harbor City, N.J./Cedar Creek (Arkansas)

2016 (Junior at Arkansas): Appeared in 11 games as a reserve running back … totaled seven carries for 18 yards … produced a four-yard rush against Auburn (10/22) … had four carries for 12 yards, including a seven-yard scamper, against Alcorn State (10/1) … carried the ball twice against Texas State (9/17).

 

Prior to Arkansas: Coached by Tim Watson at Cedar Creek … played quarterback and safety during scholastic career … helped Pirates to 11 wins and an appearance in the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 2 championship game as a senior … threw for 2,025 yards and 22 touchdowns and ran for 1,027 yards and 21 touchdowns during senior campaign … Second Team All-State on defense by the Star-Ledger Press of Atlantic City Player of the Year … added 859 yards and nine touchdowns through the air and 937 yards rushing and 12 scores as a junior … also had 43 tackles, 12 passes defended and three interceptions during junior season … rated the No. 11 dual-threat quarterback nationally by 247Sports … 15th-best dual-threat prospect and 20th-overall recruit in New Jersey by Rivals … brother of current Rutgers wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell.

CJ Onyechi  
LB · 6-1 · 215
West Orange, N.J./West Orange

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by James Matsakis at West Orange … played offensive tackle, tight end, rush end, defensive end and outside linebacker during scholastic career … helped Mountaineers to a 6-4 record and an appearance in the NJSIAA North Jersey 1, Group 5 playoffs in 2016 … produced 156 tackles, including 113 solo stops, 31 tackles-for-loss, 15 sacks, eight quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one blocked punt and one blocked kick on defense … also added 199 rushing yards and three scores on the ground … First Team All-Group 5 and Second Team All-State on defense by the Star-Ledger … 28th-overall playing in New Jersey by Rivals … No. 2 outside linebacker prospect in the Garden State and 68th nationally by ESPN … 34th-best player in New Jersey by 247Sports… brother, Toby, played football as a defensive tackle at Liberty University.

Syhiem Simmons
LB · 5-11 · 180
Jersey City, N.J./George Washington Carver (Ala.)

Prior to Rutgers: Coach by Roderick Carson at George Washington Carver after transferring from Hudson Catholic after junior season… played running back and linebacker in high school … helped the Rams to a 5-5 record and an appearance in the Class 6A playoffs as a senior … Honorable Mention All-Birmingham by Alabama Live … selected to compete in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl … ran for 1,281 yards and 18 touchdowns as a sophomore at Hudson Catholic in Jersey City … three-star recruit and sixth-best safety prospect in Alabama by Scout.

Mike Tverdov
DL · 6-4 · 230
Union, N.J./Union 

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Lou Grasso at Union … played defensive end and tight end during high school career … helped the Farmers to a 6-5 record, including a 4-1 mark in league play and an appearance in the NJSIAA playoffs in 2016 … produced 66 tackles, 14 sacks, 12 tackles-for-loss, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles as a senior … First Team All-Group 5 and All-Watchung Division by the Star-Ledger … top player in Union County by the Union News Daily … finished junior season with 84 tackles, 12 tackles-for-loss, 11 sacks and two quarterback hurries … Second Team All-Group 5 and All-Watching Division by the Star-Ledger as a junior … consensus top defensive end in the Garden State … top defensive end in New Jersey and a three-star talent by Rivals … three-star player by ESPN… brother, Pete, was a four-year standout for the Scarlet Knights from 2005-08 along the defensive line.

Travis Vokolek
TE · 6-5 · 220
Springfield, Mo./Kickapoo

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Kurt Thompson at Kickapoo … played tight end and defensive back for the Chiefs … helped Kickapoo to a 9-2 record and an appearance in the Missouri Class Six state playoffs … finished senior season with 17 catches for 205 yards and two touchdowns at tight end … also had 90 tackles, four tackles-for-loss a sack and a forced fumble … First Team Class 6 All-State on defense by the Missouri Football Coaches Association … had 82 tackles and helped the Chiefs to an appearance in the state semifinal as a junior … three-star prospect and 11th-overall recruit in Missouri by 247Sports … also played basketball and competed in track and field during scholastic career … father, D.J., currently coaches at Kickapoo after a long-time career as a collegiate assistant with stints at Buffalo, Missouri State and Northern Iowa … cousin, Chase Allen, is currently a tight end at Iowa State … uncle, Terry Allen, was the former head coach at Northern Iowa, Kansas and Missouri State.

Samuel Vretman
OL · 6-6 · 300
Stockholm, Sweden/Cheshire Academy (Conn.)

Prior to Rutgers: Enrolled in January and will participate in 2017 spring practice … coached by David Dykeman at Cheshire Academy … contributed to the Cats’ 8-2 finish and helped the team capture the NEPSAC Wayne Sanborn Bowl Championship … started on an offensive line that helped Chershire’s leading rusher collect 1,169 yards on the ground … Second Team All-State by USA Today … named offensive line MVP at The Opening N.J. Regional during summer of senior season … competed at Rocky Mountain high school in Meridian, Idaho prior to his transfer to Cheshire Academy … three-star prospect and third-best player in Connecticut by Rivals … three-star recruit and seventh-best prospect in Connecticut by Scout … eighth overall recruit in the state and a three-star player by ESPN …  originally from Sweden … distant cousin of Kenneth Kennholt, who captured four Swedish hockey championships and was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.

Everett Wormley
WR · 6-0 · 195
Burlington, N.J./Burlington Township

Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Tom Maderia at Burlington Township … two-way player for the Falcons … helped Burlington Township to a 9-2 record and an appearance in the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 3 playoffs … finished 2016 with 28 receptions for 486 yards and four touchdowns along with 215 yards on the ground and a score … also contributed 11 tackles and two interceptions on defense … Second Team All-Group 3 by the Star-Ledger … Second Team Preseason All-South Jersey by the Courier-Post … hauled in 29 receptions for 573 yards and eight touchdowns along with 204 rushing yards as a junior … three-star receiver by Rivals … three-star recruit and 28th-overall player in New Jersey by ESPN … top-30 talent in the Garden State and three-star prospect by 247Sports … also competed in track and field and helped Burlington Township finish third in the 4x100m relay at the NJSIAA Sectional Championship in 2016

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