Recruiting Reset: Defensive Ends

The spring evaluation period is winding down and the camp circuit is about to hit overdrive. So views it as the perfect time for its "Recruiting Reset" package. Today's piece looks at the defensive ends on Rutgers' board.

One of the target areas for Rutgers' 2012 recruiting class is landing an established pass-rushing defensive end, which is one of the toughest positions to recruit because of the lack of numbers.

However, the Scarlet Knights are heavily involved with one of the top ones in the nation, in Darius Hamilton of Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.).

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Hamilton -- the son of former New York Giants defensive lineman, Keith Hamilton – made a trio of visits to campus in the spring and built a strong relationship with coach Greg Schiano and his main recruiter, defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley.

Hamilton isn't listing any leaders, and hasn't cut his list yet, but Rutgers figures to be a factor until the end, especially given the Scarlet Knights' need for a defensive end.

The Scarlet Knights' need for defensive ends is also the reason they are looking at Kansas, an area they usually do not recruit. Rutgers visited Wichita Collegiate School defensive end Trace Clark this spring, and the 6-4, 225 pounder is in the process of scheduling a summer visit to campus.

Also on the board is Montclair (N.J.) High's Julian Pinnix-Odrick, who has named Rutgers and Penn State as his top two. And given Penn State already has a commitment from Brent Wilkerson of DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), it puts Rutgers in a solid spot to land him.

There are also a few other defensive end prospects on the docket looking to add offers by camping at Rutgers, and Eli Ankou of St. Peter High (Orleans, Ontario) is perhaps the top guy on the list. Ankou made several visits to campus, and Rutgers' interest was reciprocated when it traveled to make a spring evaluation last week.

Vero Beach (Fla.) High's Dwayne Hoilett said he was offered by Rutgers assistant coach Chris Hewitt, but the Scarlet Knights aren't expected to go hard after him unless he makes a visit to campus in June and meets with Schiano.

Three other players who can move into the fold if they camp at Rutgers are Dom Twitty of Rancocas Valley High (Mount Laurel, N.J.), De'Jon Wilson of Woodson High (Washington, D.C.) and Poncho Barnwell of Rochester (N.Y.) East High.

Off the board is Allen Jackson of McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.) after he committed to Duke, Noah Spence of Bishop McDevitt High (Harrisburg, Pa.) and Michael Moore of DeMatha Catholic are expressing minimal interest in the Scarlet Knights, and Rutgers is no longer recruiting Baltimore Collegiate's Charles Tapper.

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