Recruiting Reset: Defensive Backs

The spring evaluation period is over and the camp circuit is about to hit overdrive. ScarletReport.com viewed it as the perfect time for its "Recruiting Reset" package, and today's final piece in the series looks at the defensive back targets in play.

Rutgers is expecting to face a scholarship crunch in the 2012 class, which could make for some interesting decisions in the defensive backfield.

As many as six defensive backs, each holding an offer from the Scarlet Knights, hold Rutgers in high regard, but it could be difficult to take each one.

However, there are a few wildcards when considering the defensive backfield, and it begins with Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) four-star safety Elijah Shumate and St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) safety-turned-linebacker D.J. Singleton.

Both players are extraordinary talents with great size and athleticism, and that presents a unique recruiting situation for both.

Shumate is close to 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, and schools are beginning to look at him as a linebacker in college because of his size and ability to hit. But he wants to play safety in college, so schools will recruit him to do that.

Singleton is 6-3, 210, and will line up at linebacker in the fall. He has the size to be a dominating linebacker, but he moves well as a safety. He is making the move at St. Peter's Prep to help unit, but he wants to play safety in college, and will do so unless he puts on too much weight to handle the position.

One interesting twist is that Wayne Morgan of Erasmus Hall High (Brooklyn, N.Y.) is favoring Michigan over Rutgers, and could make an announcement in the next few days.

Rutgers is also in good standing with the nation's No. 6-rated cornerback in four-star Don Bosco Prep standout Yuri Wright, who is expected to have the Scarlet Knights in his list when he trims this summer. At 6-2, 180 pounds, he is the top cornerback on a lot of boards, including that of Rutgers.

But it is a deep year in the secondary in New Jersey, and there are a number of other in-state prospects who could make decisions at any time.

Davon Jacobs of DePaul Catholic High (Wayne) and Kye Morgan of Franklin High (Somerset) are both being recruited as cornerbacks and are very high on Rutgers. South Brunswick High's Jevon Tyree and Sayreville High's (Parlin) Delon Stephenson are both being recruited as athletes, but appear to have more upside in the secondary than as slot receivers.

Also, St. Peter's Prep's Brandon Napoleon has Rutgers as co-leaders with Indiana and North Carolina, and the Scarlet Knights are also in play with Northern Valley Old Tappan (N.J.) High's Devin Fuller, who was offered as a defensive back but wants to play quarterback in college.

Beyond those players is Plant City (Fla.) High's Sam Green, who holds a Rutgers offer and Baltimore City College's Da'Quan Smith, who is looking for an offer from the Scarlet Knights.

One of the nation's top cornerbacks, Armani Reeves of Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.) recently cut Rutgers from his list, but Shayne Jones of Immaculata High (Somerville, N.J.) and Josh McPhearson of DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) are each working to earn an offer from the Scarlet Knights.


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