1-on-1 with Flood: Part I, Recruiting

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers recruiting reached unprecedented highs the last few seasons, and new coach Kyle Flood is looking to build on that momentum. He went 1-on-1 with ScarletReport.com about his recruiting philosophy, talked about recruiting area assignments and talked about what it important to him from the recruiting aspect.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The recipe for Rutgers' recruiting will remain the same, and it begins with the recruiting staff staying intact under coach Kyle Flood.

During a 1-on-1 interview with ScarletReport.com, Flood was asked point-blank if he planned to alter the approach former coach Greg Schiano used.

"No," said Flood, a long-time Schiano assistant. "Some nationally recruit and do a nice job with it, but most of your great programs in college football are built from the inside out, and that is what the State of Rutgers is all about. It starts with New Jersey and moves into the surrounding areas."

That biggest part of Flood continuing that recruiting process came Sunday when two dozen high-level recruits were on campus to meet the new staff, and attend a basketball game.

"I think the relationship building would have been important whether it was a new staff or not," Flood said. "I think every opportunity you get to bring recruits on campus and have a good experience just builds your relationship and strengthens it.

"Was it more important because of the new staff? I wanted to get the recruits in the area on campus as quickly as possible so when they're communicating through email, or whatever it may be, they can at least put the name with the face. I think there was also overlapping familiarity. Some of these kids have been recruited by the schools were these guys are coming from."

Rutgers will continue to concentrate heavily on southeastern New York, southern Connecticut, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Florida.

It also means recruiting coordinator Tariq Ahmad and his staff will continue its current path.

"The recruiting office will have the same philosophy. We've got a very good situation with how that is organized, and I wouldn't want to change that."

Flood was able to fill his staff with assistant coaches with strong ties to each of the areas in Rutgers' recruiting plan, although the program will still go outside the area for a specific need or target.

The most significant reason for the recruiting approach staying the same is the success Rutgers had recently, particularly the last two seasons.

"Every year we've been able to put another brick in the wall around the State of Rutgers, and keep more and more of the top players in," Flood said. "The last two years it kind of spiked for us, and again, I think you have to build from the inside out."

A key strategic area for Rutgers is eastern Pennsylvania, and defensive line coach Jim Panagos will be the primary recruiter in the region.

"Very important," Flood said about eastern Pennsylvania. "Do we have somebody who has built-in relationships? Yeah, I think we have a couple of people. (Offensive coordinator) Dave Brock recruited a number of players from eastern Pennsylvania throughout his career. That won't be his primary area, but he has relationships there. (Special teams coordinator) Phil Galiano, the same thing. It won't be his primary area, but he has relationships there.

"Jim Panagos is going to recruit most of eastern Pennsylvania. That will be his primary area and then he'll hit the spots where the defensive linemen are. He has some relationships, and he'll build others. But I think what will help us is the amount of players we have from the area. We, as a program, have a lot of built-in relationships there and I think that always helps facilitates it."

Panagos, Galiano, quarterbacks coach Rob Spence and Flood all have extensive experience recruiting in Florida as well.

"Florida is always going to be important to us," Flood said. "We consider Florida part of the State or Rutgers. We've had so many great players from Florida since Greg (Schiano) got here 11 years ago, that will always have a place in the recruiting landscape."

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