Ask the Experts: Rutgers Edition, Part II

The team of recruiting experts provides the answers to the questions posed by the the community in this exclusive feature.

The community asked the questions, and the FOXSportsNEXT team of recruiting analysts chimed in with their answers, opinions and thoughts.

This is the second of two parts.

What do you think our chances are in actually signing hicks and wiegers how good do you think they both can be?
From Allen Trieu, who covers the Midwest: "I think there will be some schools that come in on (Wiegers), but he seems like a kid that will stick to his word, and that fact that I think schools will keep going after him tells you what I think of him as a player. He has the size and arm to be a very good one. I'd like to see how he develops this year with one more year under his belt, but he has all the tools.

From Jamie Newberg, who covers Florida: " I think the chances of Rutgers signing Hicks are very good. Like all early pledges you have to keep recruiting, fighting and hang on. This is a good find for Rutgers. They have had a very nice run on running backs and he could be another one of those guys. No doubt."

Nationally, what exactly is the perception of Rutgers?
From Trieu: "I think they're a respected program based on their recent success and some of the guys they've put into the NFL, but I still don't think they're viewed as being one of the top programs nationally yet, and that's the goal they need to strive to reach."

From Newberg: "I think Rutgers has a very good "football" perception nationally. Not sure overall with what has happened of late with their overall athletics (bball, new AD, etc.). It's too early to tell if those issues will impact their football recruiting. Prior to that mess, I thought the perception of Rutgers football and recruiting was changing positively each year.

From Brandon Huffman, who covers the West: "It's a sleeping giant. With Ray Rice winning a Super Bowl and Rutgers having so many players drafted, it's going upwards in terms of brand awareness. While there are some obvious negative vibes coming from the athletic department as a whole, it's not trickled in to football, which is what the majority of recruits pay attention to. Fans and mainstream media pay attention to the A.D. problems, recruits focus on what the football program has done.

can we compete with the B1Gclubs without more 4/5 star players?
Trieu: "Yes. It's all about how you develop talent and how that talent fits the system. Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan State have all made the conference title game the last few years without recruiting a ton of four and five star kids. Now, I think Ohio State and Michigan are recruiting better the last two years, so the dynamic may change, but success can be had without bringing in tons of blue chippers."

What does Rutgers have to do to take the next step inrecruiting? Is it as simple as winning a championship and reaching a high level bowl game?
Trieu: "You need to win and you need to create a buzz. I look at what Kentucky is doing with a new staff and what Western Michigan is doing with a new staff and they haven't won a game yet and a lot of that is creating buzz and hitting the road and working as far as recruiting goes and I think Rutgers has an opportunity to do that with the move to the Big Ten."

Newberg: " For Rutgers or any program trying to get to that next step you the quickest way is to win. But you can't win without players. It's a double edge sword. So the bottom line is that if you are Rutgers you have to continue to evaluate well and develop your players. They do that well, just look at the draft this past season. Even with the loss of Greg Schiano to the Bucs they have had good stability within the football program for a while now. "Much of the same style and structure with how they recruit, develop and play on the field. As Tony Dungy says, "do what you do." They are getting there. It doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and it's a process. Look at Boise State.

Huffman: "I would say getting to a BCS bowl would really solidify them as a top-tier recruiting program. That month of talk and exposure would be invaluable and real step up nationally, which would help them in their entrance to the Big Ten. But really continuing to lock down certain regions of the country, first and foremost, the Northeast, and then trickling West and more South, will get the Rutgers brand more notoriety."

Which state consistently produces the most five star recruits?
There is no one state that produces the most, but Florida, Texas and California all have their fair share of them.

What percentage nationally of four and five star recruits fail to qualify academically in a given year?
I can't give you a definitely answer, but very few of the players fail to qualify. Most of recognized early in the recruiting process by schools, and are made to understand the importance of academics.

Who's the top 3 players in NJ in the 2015 class? And does Rutgers have a legit shot at them?
It is a bit early to talk about the top three players in the 2015 class, but St. Peter's Prep cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick, Paul VI receiver Irvin Charles and Barnegat offensive lineman Sam Madden are three to keep an eye on. Of those, I give Rutgers the best shot at Charles, but again, it is really early in the process.

Why does it seem that an increased amount of schools from conferences further away have started to recruit New Jersey aggressively? Is this due to Schiano leaving Rutgers? What remaining Top 4 star new jersey recruits does Rutgers have a legit chance in landing this class as they battle these SEC schools ?
Part of the reason is the increased visibility of Rutgers because of the move to the Big Ten. It means all the other Big Ten schools can sell recruits on still playing in their home state a few times. It is also schools testing the new staff to see what type of ties they have to keep prospects home.

As for four-star prospects left that Rutgers has a chance to land, right now I am going with running back Gerald Owens of West Deptford High. I also give Rutgers a puncher's chance with Kiy Hester.

What impact would going to a BCS Bowl (win/loss) last year have had on Rutgers football in general, going into this season? Do you sense that recruits care that RU has never been to a BCS Bowl? Any idea if this is used as a recruiting tool against Rutgers recruits?
I think a BCS berth would have created more buzz for fans, but not much else for recruits. Recruiting, as I have said many times, is mostly about relationships.

As for negatives in recruiting, everything imaginable is used. Other schools used to tell recruits they will play in lower level bowl games at Rutgers. Now, other schools tell recruits Rutgers won't compete in the Big Ten. But make no mistake, every school negative recruits in some way.

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