Shumate Says Rutgers Visit "Really Cool"

Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) four-star safety Elijah Shumate is one of the top recruits in New Jersey's 2012 class. He made a trip to Rutgers on Thursday to check out practice for the first time, and then spoke to about the experience. Shumate also addressed whether he has a leader, and whether he is close to making a decision.

Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) four-star safety Elijah Shumate already visited Rutgers several times, but Thursday he went down with a specific goal.

He wanted to see the Scarlet Knights practice, and he did so for the first time.

"I got to see how the coaches coach, and how the players are to the coaches, and how the coaches are to the player," Shumate said. "I got see how the practice scheme is run, and how the practice goes. It was really cool. I got to see a different side of the coaching staff that I really wanted to see."

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Shumate was part of a contingent of Don Bosco Prep recruits in attendance as he was joined by linebacker Mike Strizak, defensive tackle Darius Hamilton and receiver Leonte Carroo.

And while Rutgers coach Greg Schiano spoke to each of them, his message to Shumate was simple and to the point.

"Basically, that I can come in and actually make a difference," Shumate said. "They said if I come in and work hard, I can actually play out there and compete."

Shumate is one of the most heavily recruited players in New Jersey's 2012 class. He holds more than two dozen offers, and is's No. 7–rated safety in the nation.

But does Shumate want to play strong safety or free safety?

"It doesn't matter to me," he said. "As long as I'm back there in the defensive backfield."

Earlier this week there was message board chatter that Shumate made a decision, which he chuckled about before saying he was months away from closing his recruitment.

"Maybe after August, or in September (a decision will come)," said Shumate, who addressed whether he has a leader. "As of right now, because I haven't visited a lot of schools, Rutgers, South Carolina and UConn."

Oh, and as for the rumors about him committing earlier in the week? It basically came down to folks reading his Facebook wall and seeing Rutgers-bound quarterback Gary Nova, whom Shumate said has a very good sense of humor, was playing around.

"I guess because Gary wrote on my Facebook that I was Rutgers bound, and I put a smiley face," Shumate said. "I guess people thought I was committing. I don't know."

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