Analyzing the 2011 Class

ScarletReport.com puts a bow on the 2011 recruiting class by breaking down what Rutgers achieved it. From filling needs to wait-and-see prospects to pieces of the puzzle that were not gained in the 2011 recruiting class, ScarletReport.com has the answers.

Rutgers' 2011 class is known for headliners Savon Huggins and Miles Shuler, buoyed by the signing day decision of Kaleb Johnson and packed with New Jersey products.

But what is really inside the class? Did Rutgers fulfill its needs in the class?

Before turning the page to the class of 2012, ScarletReport.com takes a look at what needs were met, and whether there were any shortcomings in the 24-member 2011 class:

Needs addressed

  • It starts with the signing of five-star running back Savon Huggins. The St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) product said no to every BCS conference school and stayed home, and the ramifications are huge.
    First, Huggins becomes an immediate contender for a starting position in a huge area of need. Huggins isn't the starter yet, but he isn't coming to Rutgers to red-shirt. His signing also serves notice to the rest of the backfield that their playing time is in jeopardy.
    Second, he sent a message to the New Jersey recruits in the 2012 and 2013 classes that it not only is ok to remain in state and play for Rutgers, but it could be trendy.

  • Long Branch (N.J.) High four-star athlete Miles Shuler brings legitimate breakaway speed to the receiving corps. He has world class speed, and although he will be 17-years-old when the season starts and red-shirt year may help, he gives the Scarlet Knights a deep threat.
    He played quarterback and defensive back in high school, but he made a quick (and very good) impression as a receiver at the U.S. Army All-America Bowl last month. In fact, his performance there showed his adjustment to receiver may come a little smoother than first anticipated.

  • Immediate help on the offensive line, particularly at center. The Scarlet Knights went the JUCO route and brought in Dallas Hendrikson. He enrolled in January and is the favorite to be the starting center.
    Also, the signing of Edward H. White High (Jacksonville) offensive lineman Kaleb Johnson could make an impact during the 2011 season. Of the high school offensive lineman Rutgers was seriously involved with, Johnson was the most ready to contribute.

  • Defensive tackle depth. Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy's Kenneth Kirksey should be able to play right away and take some of the playing time lost when Eric LeGrand was injured.
    Marquise Wright of Paramus (N.J.) Catholic could play early while Christopher Columbus High's (Bronx, N.Y.) Al Page and Sayreville High's (Parlin, N.J.) Daryl Stephenson are explosive, but may take a year to develop, which means the Scarlet Knights are building depth there.

  • Quarterback depth. It was a must before Tom Savage transferred, and became even a bigger when he elected to go somewhere else. Getting Don Bosco Prep's (Ramsey, N.J.) Gary Nova gives the Scarlet Knights a player who can contribute quickly while Manalapan High's (Englishtown, N.J.) Mike Bimonte may need a little more polish, but could be a factor in the years to come.
    The addition of Nova and Bimonte brings the Scarlet Knights' scholarship healthy quarterback count to three. Stteve Shimko's status is uncertain after shoulder surgery in the fall.

  • Replenishing the linebackers. Getting Cumberland Valley High's (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) Kevin Snyder give the Scarlet Knights a strong-side linebacker for the future, and Bishop Kearney High's (Rochester, N.Y.) Quentin Gause is physically ready to compete for playing time now.

  • Getting a punter in St. John Vianney High's (Holmdel, N.J.) Anthony DiPaula fills the void left by Teddy Dellaganna.

    Wait and see

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    • There was no dominant off-the-edge pass rusher in the class, but the development of Woodbridge (N.J.) High's Max Issaka, Willingboro (N.J.) High's Kyle George, Henderson High's (West Chester, Pa.) Myles Jackson and Hargrave Military Academy's (Chatham, Va.) Djwany Mera will go a long way in learning whether a fierce pass-rusher was brought in.

    • Tight end development. Rutgers is looking to return to the days of having a dominant tight end, and Downingtown East High's (Exton, Pa.) Tyler Kroft has the athleticism to be that player. However, the 6-foot-5, Kroft will need to add 20 to 30 pounds to be effective at the college level.

      Would have liked to see

      • One more playing-ready offensive lineman added to the class. The Scarlet Knights were close to getting that in JUCO Fou Fonoti, who chose Michigan State, and could have had it if Miami Central High's Marquise Lucas enrolled in January rather than letting his recruitment linger (before committing to West Virginia), but playing-ready offensive linemen are not easy to find.

      • Bringing in two quarterbacks is not the best thing to do, but Rutgers had to do it. Still, the ideal thing is to bring in on quarterback a class, but that went out the window because of the lack of depth at the position.


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