Stephenson Goes In-Depth on Commitment

Sayreville War Memorial High School (Parlin, N.J.) ATH Delon Stephenson verbally committed Friday afternoon to Rutgers. After his first weekend as a commit, Stephenson spoke with about his decision, including why the timing worked out the way it did and his positional expectations.

Why did Delon Stephenson (pronounced DEE-lawn) choose Friday afternoon to verbally commit to Rutgers? Because he wanted to do it in person. Stephenson, who is the third Sayreville (Parlin, N.J.) product to commit to Rutgers in three years, made a special stop to the Hale Center while in Piscataway to start the weekend.

"It was great," Stephenson said. "I got to look Coach [Greg] Schiano in the eye as I committed. I was there picking up [brother and incoming freshman Daryl Stephenson] and made a stop at the offices."

Assistant coach Robb Smith, who also recruited Daryl Stephenson and David Milewski, was Delon Stephenson's recruiting coach. Stephenson said Smith was even more excited than Schiano after he committed.

"They were all really excited," he said. "Schiano called Coach Smith down and told him too and they were both really happy. I've known Coach Smith for a long time."

Timing was never an issue for Stephenson, whose head coach George Najjar told would have had more offers if schools did not feel that he was such a Rutgers lock.

Stephenson said he did not feel pressured by the filling up of the recruiting class, but is glad to have a spot on "a great recruiting class."

"It feels good," he said. "I was always going to come to Rutgers anyway. I just wanted it over with so I can go for that state championship."

In terms of a projected position, Stephenson said he expected to come in as a cornerback and play special teams, but is no longer sure.

"When I was talking to Schiano when I committed, he was talking about running back," Stephenson said. "I didn't expect that. I have no idea really. I just want to play. ... Most likely, I'll hopefully get a chance to play anywhere, maybe receiver."

Stephenson, who will be 19 when he arrives at Rutgers, said his focus through his senior year is a state championship for Sayreville, where he stars as a running back, receiver defensive back and returner.

"I just want to win states and try to win states," he said. "I'm just trying to get better and lift and get stronger. I'm at 175 right now, but everyone thinks I can get up like 10 or 15 more pounds, which is my goal."

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