The impact of Miles Shuler's non-binding oral commitment to the Scarlet Knights late Saturday night brought the instant return of getting a high-caliber athlete, a four-star recruit who is the fastest player in the state.
The long-term impact could be equally as great as the Scarlet Knights also got a recruiter who is friends with a few of the top recruits still on the board in New Jersey. One of the first things the Long Branch (N.J.) High star is going to do is reach out to a quartet of Jersey's finest and talk to them about coming to Rutgers.
"We have to go after the Savons (Huggins), the Gary Novas, the Sheldon Roysters, the Bill Beltons, and a lot of other players," the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Shuler said. "We've got to keep a lot of Jersey players in Jersey, and this commitment was a statement we have to stay home and make Rutgers a powerhouse."
While NCAA rules limit a coach's contact with recruits in the next two weeks, no such limitations are placed on recruits.
Shuler is comfortable with the leadership role he is going to take leading up to the Feb. 2 signing day.
"I tried to be a leader in the past, and I just want to lead my team in the future to success," Shuler said. "I've always been comfortable with it."
Huggins, the five-star running back from St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, N.J.), is actually a Jersey Shore kid. He lives in Jackson, and he and Shuler have become close friends during the recruiting process.
Nova is a quarterback at Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), who earlier Saturday de-committed from Pittsburgh and his father told Scout.com Rutgers is under consideration. North Carolina and Miami were also on his short list before he chose Pittsburgh in the spring.
Belton recently de-committed from Pittsburgh, and is now looking at Cincinnati, West Virginia and Penn State. He did not list Rutgers as a possibility when he spoke to Scout.com a few days ago, but a close relationship with former Pittsburgh assistant Jeff Hafley, who was hired by Rutgers on Friday, could give the Scarlet Knights an opportunity in his recruitment.
And one other thing to consider as Shuler takes a lead role in the recruiting process?
He and Huggins have official visits scheduled to Rutgers on Jan. 21-23, which is when a large contingent of in-state prospects and commits will also be on campus. There is also a chance Nova will visit that weekend, and the Scarlet Knights will try to convince Belton to trip the same weekend.