Priming for 2012: Identifying Rutgers' Needs

Rutgers will have 12 scholarship seniors on its 2011 roster, which means the recruiting class isn't going to be packed. It also means selection of recruits to fill specific needs takes on even greater importance than ever. Many of the targets have already been written about, but how will things break down? has the 2012 guide to the Scarlet Knights' needs for the class.

There will be 12 seniors are on Rutgers' 2011 roster, and that is if Edmund Laryea gets a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA.

It means the 2012 recruiting class will likely be markedly smaller than year's past, and even with some roster manipulation the Scarlet Knights are expected to move the mid- to high-teens when it comes to the size of the class.

The lack of available scholarships means identifying the right players to fill needs is imperative, so is beginning its official class of 2012 breakdown by examining the Scarlet Knights' needs heading into it.

1. Quarterback:
Every school should bring one in every year, but some can get away with bringing in four every five years. Given Rutgers has four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, but given the health concerns of Steve Shimko, the Scarlet Knights need another one despite signing a pair last week.

2. Offensive line:
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said throughout the fall the offensive line didn't crumble to what it was in a year, and it won't get out of it in a year. Signing three linemen in the 2011 class was big, but an offensive tackle and an interior lineman is needed with the 2012 class.

3. Defensive end:
By signing four defensive tackles in the 2011 class, that position should be set for the 2012 class, unless there is a can't-miss prospect. Defensive end is another matter, and the Scarlet Knights need to bring in a pass rusher to keep the competition flowing there.

With Manny Abreu graduating after the season, there will be a void. But beyond that, more depth is needed for the position, although Rutgers can afford to be finicky in finding a high-octane, high-level player.

4. Safety:
It wasn't a position of need, which was evidenced by the Scarlet Knights going hard after St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) standout Sheldon Royster (who went to South Carolina) and no one else. Help will be needed in the 2012 recruiting class when it comes to safety, and signing one is important.

5. Tight end:
Rutgers brought in Tyler Kroft, and he could be a star once his body develops. But this is a key year when it comes to the development of Paul Carrezola and Malcolm Bush. If they develop, Rutgers may be able to skip taking a tight end in this class since it figures to be light. Otherwise, another tight end will be needed.

6. Running back:
With the loss of Joe Martinek to graduation after the season, there is a tremendous unknown in the backfield, even with five-star Savon Huggins coming to campus. There is not a lot of depth at the position, and Rutgers needs more.

7. Placekicker:
San San Te will be a senior, and although Anthony DiPaula will be a true freshman and has the leg to kickoff, he is being brought in to punt. Coaches do not like their punter to also be the placekicker, so if DiPaula moves to placekicker after the 2011 season, then a punter is needed.
This could also be a place where a walk-on wins a spot.

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