Shumate Puts in Extra Time at Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) lost in the round of 16 at yesterday's 7-on-7 Schiano Shootout, but 4-star safety Elijah Shumate stayed on-campus until after the championship game. Shumate spoke to about another extended visit to Piscataway, N.J., and seeing so many familiar faces.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) safety Elijah Shumate had an up-close view of Red Lion's (Bear, Del.) victory over St. Joseph's (Montvale, N.J.) in the 7-on-7 finals at Rutgers.

But between conversations with head coach Greg Schiano, Rutgers athletes Mohamed Sanu, Savon Huggins, Kaleb Johnson and former teammate Paul Canevari, Shumate did not spend much time actually watching to game.

"It's definitely good to talk with these guys I've played with and guys I've grown up with," Shumate said. "It's all here. There's a lot of them. It's a great place."

Don Bosco lost two hours before the championship game, but Shumate stuck around to put in time at Rutgers, the college he is most familiar with.

"I'm having a great time," he said. "It's always fun to be here at Rutgers. They treat me like home."

Canevari and fellow Bosco graduate Gary Nova enrolled at Rutgers a month ago. The two are doing everything they can to convince Shumate and others to join in.

"They're telling me this is a great place and it's the best decision that they've ever made," Shumate said. "They're not too subtle about wanting me. They've been straightforward asying this is a great place. I'll come in and play and be a factor and I'll be a great player for New Jersey, my home state."

Shumate, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder, is the nation's seventh-ranked center and has the frame to grow into a linebacker position, where he played at the 7-on-7. He holds 24 verbal scholarship offers from all across the country, but said staying local has its benefits.

"Staying home would be cool because I could play for my parents and my family, but if I go away, there is no concern there," Shumate said. "Wherever I feel the most comfortable is where I'll be."

Shumate plans to stretch out as many unofficial and official visits as possible in the eight months before National Signing Day. He plans to cut down to somewhere between five and 10 schools before the start of the season and said that "Rutgers is going to make my top."

"I really haven't went out to many other schools, but I've been talking with many schools and trying to build connections," Shumate said. "I'm going to try to get to as many schools as possible with my dad.

"[I will] definitely make a decision after the season. I'll probably wait until the last minute, the last second. I have to take all my five official visits because I may feel different now than I do on Signing Day. You never know, your heart might change."

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