Scout.com north regional recruiting manager Bob Lichtenfels has seen Rankin in person a number of times in person and studied his tape, and he shared his thoughts on the type of player the Scarlet Knights are getting.
What are your initial thoughts on Rankin?
He's got a coolness to him. Some of these kids have an outward swagger where they like to talk and flaunt and showboat. He's not that type of kid. He's very laid back, very relaxed, very cerebral. He'll go through things and say, ‘I have to do this better. I have to hit this man.'
Sometimes it gets to a point where you can see he's pressing himself too much and trying to be too perfect, but he's got that quiet moxie about him. He's a leader, but he's not loud. He's got a calmness to him.
As a quarterback, when the chips are down, you want that kid that keeps his head. I think he manages the game really well, he's got a pocket presence. He doesn't do one thing great, but he does a lot of little things well.
Can you talk about his style?
He's a prototypical quarterback. He looks like a pro-style guy, which he can be, but he's also got escape-ability. I don't want to say he's a true dual-threat guy, but he's more than a guy who can escape. He can run.
He's got a big arm. He was a big-time baseball player. He just quit playing baseball this year. He's got above average arm strength. He throws a very good ball. You see a lot of nice, tight rotation on it. He's got a nice, tight spiral. He throws a very accurate ball, it's very catchable.
His mechanics are real good. He's got a nice set up, a nice release. He's very nice and fluid. It's not like a quarterback coach has a tone of work to do.
Why did he only have one offer?
He plays at a small school, so the competition he plays is an issue. Since coaches can't come to these camps, they don't see him compete with the top-flight kids. At the 7-on-7 at Rutgers, at the 7-on-7 at Pittsburgh, at the Elite 11, he's always been one of the top three or four guys that I see.
Is he a steal for Rutgers?
You could say it's a steal. Absolutely. Blake Rankin is the type of kid who in two or three years, or four years, whenever he gets his shot, I can see a school like Pittsburgh, Maryland, those types of school, saying they should have offered him. When Michigan State was on him, a kid he really reminds me of, body-wise is Jeff Smoker. He reminds me a little bit of him.
I think once he gets his shot, he's going to excel, and teams are going to be saying, ‘Hey, we probably should have went on him.' There's kids with more offers and more press, but I honestly believe Rankin's the best quarterback in the state. And I think he's one of the top two guys in the region.