Top 5 Moments In Building 2011 Class

Rutgers signed the best class in the Big East, and came in with a No. 31 ranking nationally, when the ink dried on Wednesday's national signing day. There were highs and lows, and breaks down the best moments of the last year in recruiting.

Rutgers was coming of a 4-8 season and critics were panning the program, but Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano proved recruiting is about relationships, and Rutgers built some great ones.

The Scarlet Knights' 24-member recruiting class – it includes three players who signed last season, failed to qualify, then re-signed again – was ranked 31st in the nation by, and the best in the Big East.

Now that everything is over, and before we start on the class of 2012, here are the Top 5 moments of the 2011 class.

5. April 14, 2010 – Al Page commits
It will take a year for him to get accustomed to college and get his technique refined, but this was a huge commitment. Penn State was knocking on his door and Syracuse made him a priority, but the Scarlet Knights got him out of New York.
If Page played against better competition, he made have been elevated to a four-star recruit. He is also a defensive tackle that Rutgers won't have to bulk up, but rather just fine-tune his body.

4. Jan. 10, 2011 – Gary Nova commits
This was huge on many levels. The quarterback is a Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) product, and Rutgers has had trouble getting players out of there in the past. He was previously committed to Pittsburgh, is New Jersey's top-rated quarterback and he performed on the field.
Nova was 24-0 as a starter, should be able to adapt to offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti's system quickly, and make sure incumbent Chas Dodd understands there is some very real competition for him to deal with in training camp.

3. Feb. 2, 2011 – Kaleb Johnson commits
There always seems to be a signing day surprise with Schiano, and Edward H. White High (Jacksonville) offensive lineman Kaleb Johnson pulled the trick this time.
Those close to Johnson were favoring other schools, and at one point late last month he was ready to commit to Miami after an official visit. But the connection between Schiano and Johnson was strong, and in the end Rutgers got an offensive lineman who may be ready to contribute in the fall.

2. Dec. 18, 2010 – Miles Shuler commits
Something big had to happen to give Rutgers momentum heading into the holidays, and that something turned out to be the class' top recruiter. Four-star Long Branch (N.J.) High athlete Miles Shuler capped a six-hour in-home visit with coach Greg Schiano and receivers coach P.J. Fleck by committing.
Not only did it give the Scarlet Knights a bonafide star in the class, but it gave the class a point-man when it came to a lead recruiter among his peers.
Shuler took the reigns and recruited like he was a member of the staff, and by the end of it some of the top players in Jersey joined him.

1. Jan. 28, 2011 – Savon Huggins commits
The die-hards will remember where they were when the five-star first donned a North Carolina camp, looked around the library at St. Peter's Prep, and the flipped it off to reveal a Rutgers hat under it.
Huggins then "chopped" and proclaimed he was heading to Rutgers, and he goes with enormous expectations. Future first-round NFL draft pick Anthony Davis, the last five-star to commit to Rutgers, was not the face of the program, but Huggins may become just that.
The nation was watching and Rutgers won a recruiting battle against everyone else that signaled the new level Rutgers recruiting reached in 2011.

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