LaLota Discusses Rutgers Transfer

Rutgers added a big piece to its 2011 defense when Anthony LaLota decided to transfer in from Michigan. The story broke on last night, and now LaLota talks about the decision to transfer to Rutgers and the position he will play. LaLota was a highly-rated offensive tackle and defensive end coming out of The Hun School.

Anthony LaLota watched Rutgers practice Tuesday morning, and that was the final thing he needed to see before opting to transfer from Michigan.

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound LaLota said he is enrolling at Rutgers today and will sit out this season under NCAA transfer rules and be eligible to play next season.

"I just think it's good opportunity to go there," LaLota said. "I think coach (Greg) Schiano's got a great program. I came and watched practice (Tuesday) and I was really impressed with it. I think it would be a great opportunity."

LaLota was rated as a four-star defensive end (rated No.15 in the nation) while playing at The Hun School (Princeton, N.J.) and a five-star offensive lineman (No. 4 offensive tackle nationally) coming out of high school.

He red-shirted last season at Michigan, and after sitting out this season will have three years of eligibility remaining.

He said he play defensive end at Rutgers, and his timing is perfect since the Scarlet Knights lose starting defensive ends Alex Silvestro and Jonathan Freeny after the season.

"Knowing that I have to sit out this season …obviously it's tough to sit out any time," LaLota said. "But knowing that I'll be ready for next year and this will give me time to learn the system, I'll do everything I can to prepare myself."

LaLota built a strong relationship with Schiano during the recruiting process, which led to his commitment to Michigan for the 2009 class.

He did not play in Michigan's first two games this seasons, and said Rutgers was a natural fit once he realized he was going to transfer.

"Rutgers was definitely up there for me (coming out of high school)," LaLota said. "They were in the mix and under strong consideration the whole time."

As for his reasons for leaving Michigan, LaLota said he was looking for a change of scenery.

"All I can say is that I'm really thankful for coach (Rich) Rodriguez giving me the opportunity there," LaLota said, "but I thought at this time in my life it was better to pursue other opportunities for myself."

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