NJ Lineman Zuttah Still Considering Offers

In their search for quality linemen prospects, the Wolfpack coaching staff has been making some recruiting inroads at several New Jersey schools recently.

Assistant coach Chris Demarest has been hard at work scouting some of the Garden State's best linemen, and one of his top targets, Jeremy Zuttah of J.P. Stevens Senior High in Edison (NJ), has been impressed with the effort. In fact, Zuttah continues to list NC State as one of his possible college destinations even though he has yet to receive an offer from the Wolfpack.

The 6'4", 285-pound offensive lineman boasts 13 offers from top Division I programs, including ACC rivals Maryland and Virginia, but when talking about the NC State program, Zuttah seemed very interested despite never taking a visit.

"I know about the location, I've seen pictures of the facilities," he said. "I know they have a strong program. Coach Demarest and coach (Mike) Barry have been telling me a lot about NC State."

Zuttah became even more interested with the Wolfpack after watching them play against Ohio State. In fact, he noted how much he like NC State's style of play on the offensive side of the ball. "I was very impressed with NC State's offense," he said. "I like T.A. McLendon. Even when he's hurt, he's still doing his thing out there."

When looking at Zuttah up close, it's easy to see why he is considered one of the top offensive line recruits in the nation. He has a very muscular frame for his size and he actually seems bigger than his listed weight. According to J.P. Stevens head coach Frank Zorro, he has put up some impressive numbers in the weight room as well, benching 395 lbs. and squatting 580.

"He's a big, strong kid, and he didn't get that way by accident," said Zorro. "He's dedicated to the weight room. He's our strongest player only because of the amount of time he spends there."

Zuttah has been playing offensive tackle (where he registered 37 pancake blocks last year) and defensive end throughout his high school career, but Zorro says that most of the schools recruiting him see him as an offensive guard at the next level. He adds that Jeremy possesses excellent feet and speed (4.9-40) for a kid his size and has the right amount of talent to succeed anywhere on the offensive line. "He has all the tools," he said. "He's probably the best lineman I've ever had since I've been here, and we've had some good ones."

In Zorro's 33 years at J.P. Stevens (11 years as head coach) Zorro has seen his share of talented linemen, especially two years ago when he had a state championship squad with both Jeremy and his brother, Jeff, who signed with Michigan a year ago, but may now be seeking a transfer. Zorro also has connections to the North Carolina area, as his brother Richard was an All-American at UNC in 1962.

But in terms of the recruiting process, Zuttah appears to have learned the most from watching Jeff go through it last year. Now, he will be looking to pare down his list to five schools from his current list of NC State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Notre Dame, Iowa, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Boston College, Northwestern, Syracuse, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, UCLA, Stanford, Miami and Georgia Tech.

At one time, NC State was listed as one of his three favorites, along with Boston College and Notre Dame, and even hometown Rutgers has been coming on strong lately, but Jeremy now insists that everyone is pretty equal. Distance from home will not be a major factor in his decision, nor will his position at his new school, but he does have some prerequisites for his final list.

"When I'm cutting down my list, I'm looking for which schools give me the best combination of athletics and academics," he said. "Then, when I get down to my final five, I'm going to go with whatever place I feel most comfortable."

Coach Zorro knows that schools are just starting to give Zuttah the full court press, but he also knows that the decision is going to be up to Jeremy and that he will make it when he is ready. "There are a lot of schools that are going after him hard," he said. "Whoever gets him is going to have a real prize."

Pack Pride Top Stories