Legacy ATH Pretlow Visits for Scrimmage

Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.) athlete Jihaad Pretlow has deep ties to Rutgers and felt at home today on an unofficially visit to campus. Pretlow has multiple family members with Rutgers football ties and spoke with ScarletReport.com about his visit and overall recruitment.

Athlete Jihaad Pretlow out of Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.) had no reason to feel uncomfortable at today's Rutgers spring scrimmage. An Elizabeth, N.J., native, Pretlow was warmly greeted before the start of the scrimmage by his cousin, co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year Khaseem Greene.

"I learned a lot of things about that school that I didn't know previously," Pretlow said. "I felt a really deep connection to the school. I feel like there's a certain legacy being built."

The family legacy runs deeper than Greene, however. Pretlow's father, Malik Jackson, played for Rutgers in the early 1990s and speaks highly of his time on the Banks.

Jackson was a star defensive back under coach Doug Graber and made All-Big East in 1991.

"From talking to my dad about it, he told me that Rutgers is academically a great place," Pretlow said. "It helped him excel and there was a lot of unity with the state of New Jersey and the city of Elizabeth supporting him. He got that feeling of a hometown hero, so everybody was watching his games. He said there's a special feeling when you're at Rutgers. Everybody around you is just going to be there for you. Family and unity is a big thing."

Pretlow is close with Greene, who also relays positive reviews of playing at Rutgers.

"It means a lot to see my cousin playing on that field where I could play also," he said. "There was a sense of enjoyment watching him out there in a uniform where I could look at myself playing in. It's an excitement seeing a guy represent Elizabeth."

Pretlow met with multiple staff members, including recruiting coordinator Tariq Ahmad, and director of player development Fred Mariani. At 5-foot-11, 183 pounds, Pretlow remains unsure of his college position.

"The big thing with the coaches was getting a positive reaction off my film," he said. "They said they really like it. I'm just not really sure right now what position they want me."

Pretlow ran for 838 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior and made four interceptions as a defensive back.

"Right now, I think [Rutgers] likes me as just an athlete," he said. "I can play offense or defense. I think my versatility is one of the reasons they like me."

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