Rutgers: What's At Stake Next Four Weeks? takes a look at how the next month of the season could shape Rutgers' 2014 recruiting class.


Coach: Kyle Flood
2014 Commits: 24 rank: No. 30
2013 record: 5-3
Finish needed for bowl eligibility: 1-3
Bowl possibilities: Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 28) in New York; Belk Bowl (Dec. 28) in Charlotte, N.C.

What's at stake: The class was rocked a bit in the last week with a trio of decommitments, but there is also plenty of depth and strength remaining, and the ability to add more prospects, as well as real back a few of the decommitted players, exists.

What is most important is stabilizing the class, and that seems to have happened with Englishtown (N.J.) Manalapan four-star receiver Saeed Blacknall saying he is committed, and with Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep running back Jonathan Hilliman remaining committed.

Wins and losses usually don't mean a ton in recruiting, but it is important in the case of the Scarlet Knights over the next month of the season, and it begins with Saturday's game against Cincinnati. A win against the Bearcats, which comes into High Point Solutions Stadium a pick'em choice with the Scarlet Knights, will get things back rolling in a positive way, and is important given Rutgers plays at UCF on Thursday.

Rutgers finishes the season with games at Connecticut and then Dec. 7 against South Florida, so a seven-win season is easily doable, and eight wins would certainly quell any concerns. Also, getting to seven wins would likely send Rutgers to the Belk Bowl.

When it comes to individual prospects, getting Wayne (N.J.) DePaul Catholic four-star safety Kiy Hester back into the fold would be big. He already has official visits set to Michigan State and Arkansas, and is looking at possible trips to Miami, Vanderbilt, Ohio State and Missouri. An official trip to Rutgers is also in the works.

There may be more work to do with Erial (N.J.) Timber Creek receiver Adonis Jennings, who is looking hard at Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Iowa, and Cedar Grove (N.J.) High receiver David Njoku could be re-visited if the Rutgers staff decides to do so.

As for other prospects, the Scarlet Knights are mostly looking to the south, and four big-time targets are set to make official visits in December, beginning with Weeki Wachee (Fla.) High offensive tackle Marcus Applefield. At this point, Rutgers' biggest competition is Vanderbilt, which is now selling a big (and easy) win against Florida at The Swamp in the recruiting battle with Rutgers.

Delray Beach (Fla.) Village Academy defensive end Kevin Bronson will be on campus Dec. 7, and will get to see how the Scarlet Knights use athletic defensive ends in the defense. Largo (Fla.) High cornerback Cordell Hudson will make his official visit Dec. 14, and will be close to a decision after it. Finally, Miami Norland receiver Kendrick Edwards will be on campus Dec. 7, and Rutgers can push hard for a commitment it nearly secured when he visited in the summer.

Junior college defensive tackle target Calvin Heurtelou is also staying in contact with the staff.

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