So. Jersey Prospects Talk Galiano Departure

ERIAL, N.J. -- South Jersey is loaded with talent in the 2013 class, and Rutgers assistant coach Phil Galiano built strong relationships there. So news he was leaving to join ex-Rutgers coach Greg Schiano's staff came as a surprise Tuesday, and a day later some of the top prospects reacted to it.

ERIAL, N.J. -- South Jersey is a ripe recruiting area for the 2013 class, and Rutgers worked it well for the last year as assistant coach Phil Galiano built strong ties.

So when Galiano became the latest member of the Rutgers staff to accept a job with ex-Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday, coach Kyle Flood and his staff made sure to reach out to the recruits and coaches in the region to explain what was happening.

"A couple of Rutgers coaches messaged me on Facebook," Woodbury (N.J.) High cornerback Anthony Averett said. "I did hear about (Galiano). He was really the first one that recruited me with Rutgers. Him leaving, I don't know if it's an issue. I still like Rutgers. It's nice up there."

Flood also told Timber Creek Regional High coach Rob Hinson that new defensive line coach Jim Panagos would begin recruiting at the school. Panagos recruited South Jersey with success when he was at UCF.

At Timber Creek, defensive end Dajaun Drennon built a strong relationship with Galiano, but couldn't fault him for moving to the NFL.

"It does matter because he was my recruiting coach and he would be my position coach," Drennon said. "But I feel like everybody always gets that on opportunity in life and they just have to take it."

Timber Creek's Myles Nash, who is being recruited to play outside linebacker, had mixed emotions with the news of Galiano's departure.

"It was disappointing and I was happy at the same time," Nash said. "It's disappointing because that was the guy recruiting me and that's who I was building my relationship with, but I'm happy because it's something he probably worked hard his whole life to get to.

"When you get offered a job to coach at the highest level of the profession and you have mouths to feed …that basically was his dream so I couldn't get mad at him for that."

One of the players Galiano had the strongest bond with is Williamstown (N.J.) High linebacker Buddy Brown.

"Buddy [is] very sad," said Brown father, Shaun. "He knows this is part of the process but he really respected coach Galiano."

Oakcrest (N.J.) High middle linebacker Brandon Bell was disappointed to hear Galiano left.

"I know he had to do what's best [for] family but it is a tough loss," Bell said.

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