Rutgers Solidifying Turf in Pennsylvania

WARMINSTER, Pa. — With seven months until National Signing Day, Rutgers already has four verbal commitments from Pennsylvania recruits. looks at the reasons behind Rutgers' growing success in Pennsylvania — securing and expanding the fence are the State of Rutgers.

WARMINSTER, Pa. — At one point in the recruiting class, Rutgers had more commitments from Pennsylvania prospects than New Jersey ones. Now 10 members into the class of 2012, Rutgers has four commitments from the Keystone State.

With Brandon Arcidiacono's commitment Wednesday, Rutgers is tied with the highest number of Pennsylvania recruits under coach Greg Schiano. spoke with Arcidiacono, Desmon Peoples, Blake Rankin and Chris Muller about the draw to Rutgers.

Class of 2012

Rankin: "It's sweet. Kids from Pennsylvania in this class is great. It will make me and all of us more comfortable once we get there. It's cool to see that kids are seeing the same things I saw when I committed. Rutgers is a great program."

Arcidiacono: "I love that there are other Pennsylvania guys in this class, especially someone from my high school (Peoples). We're going to be that much closer when we all sign and get to Rutgers."

Muller: "The more the merrier. It doesn't matter where we're all from, but at the same time I like having guys from my area."

Attitude About Rutgers

Rankin: "As a kid in this area, you all grow up wanting to play for Penn State, but Rutgers is jumping in there. Rutgers is getting well-known in this part of Pennsylvania.

"We're one of the top states for high school football. There is a ton of talent and the atmosphere on game days is incredible. It's good that people are realizing that."

Peoples: "People here respect Rutgers and I see a lot of people showing me love about going there when I'm wearing my hat and stuff. I can't wait to get there."

Building Relationships

Rankin: "We've all been talking to try and build those relationships. Obviously Chris and I are already good friends and I've been talking to Desmon Peoples a lot. I don't know [Arcidiacono] that well yet, but I know he's a good kid. They're all good kids, which is exciting."

Muller: "I've known Blake for a long time. We're already planning on rooming together and our families are close. I can't wait to play with him."

Peoples: "I'm pretty happy with this. It's like a friendship forever basically."

Rutgers Coaches

Rankin: "[Tight ends coach Brian] Angelicho came after I got to know all of the coaches, but he's an awesome coach and a really straightforward guy. I like this whole staff from Coach Schiano on down. I believe in them and I think a lot of other kids do. They're amazing coaches."

Arcidiacono: "I have a great relationship with the whole coaching staff and that's a big reason why I committed. I loved them all when I came for Junior Day and when they offered me and every visit was great to get to know them."

Recruiting More Pennsylvanians

Rankin: "I just talk to them sometimes to try and let them know what I'm about and what Rutgers is about. You don't want them to only have a relationship with the coaches. At the same time, the recruiting process can be very stressful, so I'm giving them all space."

Peoples: "We're not done yet. I do what I can, but everyone needs to kind of figure things out for themselves. I gave Brandon his space, but at the same time I was always there to answer his questions and I'm happy he's going to play with me."

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