Rutgers Offers In-State DL

Montclair (N.J.) defensive end Darius Slade was on hand at the Rutgers spring game and left with a surprise from the coaching staff. Slade holds three verbal scholarship offers and discussed the beginning of his recruiting journey with FOXSportsNEXT.com.

Montclair (N.J.) 2014 defensive end Darius Slade earned a verbal scholarship offer Saturday during an unofficial visit to the Rutgers spring game. Slade has been a long-time follower of Rutgers football and is cousins with red-shirt freshman defensive end Julian Pinnix-Odrick.

"Julian's very competitive and he says that's what it's like there," Slade said. "He's trying to get his health back as soon as possible and get back out there. But he loves the coaches and is very energetic about Rutgers when he's talking to me about it."

The 6-foot-4 Slade met with defensive coordinator Dave Cohen during his Rutgers visit and said he is a fan of defensive line coach Jim Panagos. Panagos is the position coach for Pinnix-Odrick and has been active in Slade's recruitment.

"The visit was great," Slade said. "I really enjoyed myself. "I had a great time watching the game. Darius Hamilton was the one guy who really stood out. He's a lot bigger from when he was in high school. I definitely like the defensive line coach, coach Panagos. He's the kind of person that catches your eye. He's the kind of position coach that I want in college. He's a great coach. … He doesn't want guys that want to redshirt. He wants guys that want to come in and play."

Slade received visits from Maryland, Connecticut and Temple during the spring evaluation period and could camp at all three with his team during the summer.

"I don't have anything set up, but definitely in the summer," he said. "We're going to some camps as a team and I'm excited about that. I want to have Slade's first offer came from Massachusetts. Former teammate Sam Zeff signed with UMass this year and Slade visited with teammates to junior day during the winter.

Slade said he and defensive line teammate Austin Stevens plan to take trips together this summer before considering decisions.

Stevens has a UMass offer and interest from Maryland, Miami and Rutgers.

"My visit there went pretty good for the most part," Slade said. "UMass is definitely a great school for academia as well as for football, so I definitely have the feeling that it could be a good place for me."


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