JUCO Defensive Tackle Talks Rutgers Visit

Rutgers had a number of recruits at Friday's home finale against Louisville, and one was defensive tackle Gilbert Pena from ASA -- The College for Excellence. Pena spoke with ScarletReport.com about his unofficial visit, his official visit schedule, where Rutgers fits in and much more.

Gilbert Pena, a defensive tackle from ASA – The College For Excellence (Bronx, N.Y.), wasn't sure of Rutgers' interest in him because he hadn't heard from the staff in a while.

That changed late last week when Rutgers offensive line coach Kyle Flood called Pena and invited him to the home finale against Louisville, and Pena accepted the invitation and took in the game.

"I got to see the defensive line and how they work," the 6-foot-4, 315-pound Pena said. "I got a little tour. Nothing too crazy because it wasn't an official visit. I didn't get a chance to speak to too many people there."

Pena already visited North Carolina and South Florida and is scheduled to visit Mississippi on Dec. 4 and Florida the following weekend. His fifth official visit will likely be to Kansas State, and all by Florida have offered.

However, Pena said he remains open to all schools, and Rutgers could wind up getting an official visit. He does not have an offer from the Scarlet Knights yet because transcripts are needed before one can be extended.

"Rutgers is a good program," Pena said. "They were out of the picture for a while, but I know the situation with the school and the team on defense line, and I know they're going to try get me on an official visit, but I don't know if I'm going to be able to."

Pena would have two years of eligibility remaining, and he is trying to enroll in a four-year school in January. Like most junior college transfers, playing time is a high priority.

"I'd like to be a starter, but I want to be at a place I feel comfortable," Pena said. "I don't think location has an impact where I go at all. I think it would benefit me to be away from home and focus on football and school, and getting my degree.

"Being at a different place, and away from home, could be good so I don't have any distractions."

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