QB Commit Received Valuable Info During Visit

Manalapan High (Englishtown, N.J.) quarterback and Rutgers commit Mike Bimonte toyed with the idea of graduation early and enrolling in college in January, but a snag kept it from happening. However, during is official visit to Rutgers over the weekend, he was presented with a key piece of information that could accelerate his development heading into the 2010 season.

There was the food, the bowling, the playing pool, the food, the presentations, the camaraderie and …did we mention the food?

But during a highly active 48 hours while on an official visit over the weekend, the best news Manalapan High (Englishtown, N.J.) quarterback and Rutgers commit Mike Bimonte heard dealt with his future as a Scarlet Knight.

In many ways, it will begin a lot quicker than he anticipated.

"I met with (coach Greg Schiano) at the end," Bimonte said. "He was around the whole weekend talking to families. He told me something I never knew. Once I sign my letter of intent, I can train (at Rutgers), listen in on meetings and do things like that.

"I'm only 20 minutes down the road, so I can be there all the time."

Bimonte, who is 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, will also be a regular at spring practice.

Two years ago quarterback Tom Savage made the drive from the Philadelphia area to attend every spring practice, and it helped him in earning the starting spot as a true freshman.

"I saw down with (assistant) coach (Kirk) Ciarrocca and watched film," Bimonte said. "Some of the things they do are similar to what we do. They are much more complex. It's something I feel like I have somewhat of an advantage over another quarterback just walking in because of what we ran."

Bimonte toiled with the idea of entering Rutgers in January, but was told the school district requires a student to apply for it as a sophomore.

"I'm going to training my butt off until summer workouts," he said. "I'll be there at the end June."

Bimonte was hosted by receiver JT Tartacoff, and got to spend considerable time with quarterback Chas Dodd.

"It was one of the best times I had in a while," Bimonte said. "It was action-packed. There was no time to take a deep breath, except maybe one. JT's roommate is Chas, so I was with him the whole first night. He's a very funny kid, and a cool kid."

The visit allowed Bimonte to develop friendships with the current players, as well as other members in his class.

"It's probably the most important thing from the whole visit," he said. "I t gives you a chance to see if you really fit in and if you can connect with some of the players. I felt like I fit very well.

"There was a ton of food. I definitely gained about 10 pounds. Saturday we went to (New York), to Lucky Strike, which is a very, very fancy bowling alley. We also hung with players in the (dorm) room, took a bunch of tours …saw academic presentations."

Anything else?

"Probably more food," Bimonte said. "The dinners were ridiculous."

After completing 95 of 181 passes 1,746 yards 14 touchdowns and four interceptions in leading to the Braves to an 8-3 mark, Bimonte is heading to Rutgers eager to prove himself.

"If you just take a look (at the quarterback situation), it's kind of a good situation for me," he said. "I'll have a chance to compete for a job, and if the other guy is better for me, then you know what, at least I had a chance to compete."


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