Spotlight 2013: DE Garrett Sickels

Rutgers is doing extremely well recruiting the 2012 class, and only a few handfuls of players remain primary recruiting targets. As the recruiting game speeds up, is keeping up as well. We are continuing our "2013 Spotlight" series so as Rutgers begins recruiting the class, brings you the targets on their radar.

Rutgers first noticed Garrett Sickels when watching tape in the fall, and by the time the camp circuit arrived he already had an offer from the Scarlet Knights.

Verbal offers from Florida and Georgia, and an expected one next week from Tennessee, make the 6-foot-4, 230-pound defensive end from Red Bank Regional High (Little Silver, N.J.) one of the top prospects in a loaded New Jersey 2013 class, and he certainly has a soft spot for his home-state school.

"I love the whole process," Sickels said. "It's a lot of fun, but the main thing I've really been focusing on …is high school ball. It's fun to have on the side, but the main focus is high school. I still have two more years to get better."

The Rutgers offer came long before the other two, and he already began building a relationship with the Scarlet Knights' staff.

Sickels attended a spring practice, visited campus on another occasion and also participated in the Scarlet Knights' Big Man Academy in June.

"I like staying in contact with them," Sickels said. "When I was at the Big Man Academy …it's fun to be around all of them. They weren't (phony) or stuff."

Sickels admitted to being taken aback by the Rutgers offer.

"That was definitely a ‘Wow' factor," he said. "But then, Florida coming to my school, and when they offered, I couldn't believe it. Florida is self-explanatory. And Georgia is awesome as well."

In fact, Sickels is on Florida's campus for a visit today, and will be at UCF later in the week. He will also travel to Tennessee next week and is is expecting to pick up offers from UCF and the Vols during his visits.

However, this is only the beginning for Sickels.

"Penn State invited me up to see them play Alabama," he said. "I'm really looking forward to that. I know I'll definitely try and catch a Rutgers game. Other than that, I'll have to see where the schedule fits in."

And while Sickels certainly is turning into a national recruit during the early portion of his recruitment, he was born and raised in Red Bank (N.J.), and likes his in-state school.

"Rutgers is awesome," the 6- Sickels said. "That's my state university, and I've always been up there watching games. When I got that first offer, I was so excited. To be one of those guys that says he has an offer before the end of his sophomore year is so awesome. …I never expected that."

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