19 in 19: OL Keith Lumpkin

Keith Lumpkin is the next stop in our "19 in 19" series. The 6-foot-8 offensive lineman from St. Peters Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) talked about going to the next level with his best friend and thoughts on the state of the Rutgers offensive line.

St. Peters Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) tackle Keith Lumpkin is out of high school and ready to toast to the next step — Rutgers.

After verbally committing Sept. 9 to Rutgers and finding out his best friend, Savon Huggins, did the same four months later, Lumpkin just wants to get to Piscataway.

"It hits me every day that I'm on my way to college," Lumpkin said. "Every day it gets stronger. I think about it all the time. I have a countdown on my wall and every time I look at it, it's crazy how fast time flies."

The gigantic three-star offensive lineman will enroll May 31 for the first summer session and will room with his best friend, Huggins.

"It's a great feeling," said the 6-foot-8, 290-pounder. "I'm going to college and playing with my best friend. We work out together off the field as well as on and we're very comfortable with each other. We're going to come in together as freshmen just like we did at Prep."

Lumpkin found out while playing in a basketball game that Huggins committed to Rutgers and, ever since, just wants to get to Rutgers.

"My parents told me ‘Savon picked Rutgers,'" and the game just stopped in my mind. I was so excited I couldn't focus. I wanted to cry."

After his commitment, Lumpkin said he tried to become a recruiter and build a good relationship with many of the later commits like Gary Nova and Marquise Wright.

"We're all close because we all have the same mission," he said. "We want to win a Big East championship and that starts from Day 1 when we all get here."

Until Lumpkin arrives, the weight room is his home, he said.

Lumpkin wants to play as a freshman and the best way to do that is to show up ready.

"Me and [offensive line coach Kyle Flood] talked a lot about it," Lumpkin said. "He was saying it depends what kind of shape I'm in when I get there. That's why I want to get there early. Even if I'm not in the best shape, I will have a lot of time to work out and I'll be a step ahead of the other freshmen because I've been there longer."

Lumpkin made multiple trips to his new home after signing his National Letter of Intent and was one of many Class of 2011 commits to visit for the Scarlet-White game.

"The team was really good and the offense was impressive," Lumpkin said. "The offensive line was great and they were moving the ball well behind them."

While watching the game, Lumpkin said he was not surprised with a strong showing by the offensive line. Despite an abysmal 61 sacks last season, Lumpkin predicts an improved performance in 2011.

"They were very young last year and Coach Flood is a great coach," he said. "I expected them to get a lot better and they definitely looked better in the spring game."

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