Paulsboro Linebacker Likes Rutgers

Rutgers went to Paulsboro (N.J.) High a number of years ago to land defensive end Alex Silvestro, who is now a senior, and the Scarlet Knights could return there for the 2012 class. Outside linebacker Eric McMullen is familiar with the Scarlet Knights and getting interest from several BCS schools. He spoke to about Rutgers, his play and much more.

There are a number of impressive linebackers in the New Jersey's class of 2012, and one burgeoning player is linebacker Eric McMullen of Paulsboro High.

He has been to Rutgers several times, checked out Pittsburgh's game against West Virginia over Thanksgiving weekend and is also getting interest from Nebraska.

He figures to become a much bigger name on the recruiting circuit in the offseason after stellar junior season. The 6-foot-1, 197-pounder enters this weekend's South Jersey Group I state title game against Glassboro High with 92 tackles, two sacks and five tackles for loss.

"I was always in the shadows of Zach Greenwald, but now I think I'm coming out," McMullen said. "I think I'm smart on the field with the ankles I take to make tackles."

McMullen acknowledged USC is a school he has watched a lot, but the Scarlet Knights high on his list.

"I like Rutgers a lot," he said. "I like the campus. I have been up there a few times, and (Rutgers defensive end) Alex Silvestro is from my school and I talk to him."

McMullen, who is also a wrestler, said he bench presses 315 pounds and squats 475. He is friends Rutgers commit and three-time state wrestling champ Andrew Campolattano, a linebacker from Bound Brook (N.J.) High, and attended Rutgers' wrestling camp last summer.

The crossover in sports, which is something the Rutgers coaching staff likes in players because of what it means for balance and flexibility, said the moves he learned in wrestling translate well to the football field.

"If you can take someone down when they're expecting you to take them down, why can't you tackle anybody in the open field?" McMullen said. "I think it's balance and the way you approach the tackles."

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