"First of all, it was very cool to talk with Coach Schiano before the game," Sickels said. "I never expected it. To have a head coach come talk to you individually before such a huge game, that was great."
Sickels already has good relationships with multiple staff members, including linebackers coach Bob Fraser and defensive line coach Phil Galiano, but personal time with Schiano before the game sent a strong message.
"That was huge for me," Sickels said. "We talked a lot about the importance of being around good people. I need to surround myself with the kind of people I can live with for the next four years of my life. It doesn't matter how big your stadium is or the size of the weight room if you aren't comfortable with the people."
When asked if he thinks Rutgers has those kinds of people, Sickels simply replied, "absolutely."
During his unofficial visit Saturday, Sickels specificly enjoyed the game-time envirnment, including the black uniforms and defensive performances.
"They were on fire. Justin Francis, Manny Abreu, Scott Vallone, all of them," Sickels said. "It was great seeing the way they all fed off of each other. We won 14-7 against Raritan this week and the way our defense works together reminded me a lot of the Rutgers defense."
Sickels spent time with some of the players during his visit, with two players standing out to him.
"I met Quentin Gause in the recruiting lounge before the game," Sickels said. "He's red-shirting this year, but he was a very cool person. He definitely looks like a football player."
Playing in the Shore Conference, Sickels is also familiar with receiver Miles Shuler, who started at quarterback for Long Branch High School last year.
"The coolest thing for me was seeing Miles Shuler warm up on the sidelines," Sickels said. "Just seeing him in the college uniform was a humbling experience for me. I played on the field against him last year and now he's on the next level doing what I'll have the opportunity to do, maybe even do with him on the same team."
Sickels said that Rutgers continues to stand out among his seven offers, but that he also has strong interest in Tennessee, Florida and Alabama. Stanford was the most recent school to verbally offer Sickels.
"That kind of came out of nowhere, my coach just told me after a practice," Sickels said. "It was a great surprise."