Rutgers in Early Lead for Florida TE Marini

Lake Mary (Fla.) tight end Taylor Marini stands on five verbal scholarship offers midway through the spring evaluation period. With multiple visits from Rutgers assistants on the calendar, Marini said the Scarlet Knights are currently standing out on top.

A visit last week from Rutgers defensive line coach Jim Panagos was enough for Lake Mary (Fla.) tight end Taylor Marini to have an early leader in his recruitment.

With five verbal scholarship offers at the FBS level, Marini has the Scarlet Knights standing out on top right now and will visit Piscataway, N.J., during the summer.

"I'm still taking it slow, but Rutgers is definitely at the top of the list," Marini said. "... I just feel comfortable with them. I've researched the school a lot and I like what they have to offer, not just football stuff. I learned a lot of information about them by going on the Internet and stuff and I really like it."

Marini received a visit last week from Panagos, who verbally offered linebacker Jarod Fernandez on the trip, and liked his first interaction with his recruiting coach.

"I really enjoyed getting to meet Coach Panagos in person," Marini said. "I didn't spend a ton of time with him, but it was great just talking to him for a second. He seems like a really easy, laid back kind of guy. I like him a lot."

Marini will receive a visit this week from tight ends coach Darnell Dinkins, who is on a trip to Florida to scout tight ends for the Scarlet Knights.

"I'm really looking forward to meeting Coach Dinkins this week," he said. "He has a great reputation."

Rutgers verbally offered Marini early last month and has been hard after him since identifying him as a top tight end in the region. A dual threat tight end, Marini has been told the importance of the position to Rutgers' 2013 recruiting class.

"They told me tight end is a huge position they need because they didn't recruit one last year," he said. "They really like me and they want me bad. They're recruiting me really hard."

Marini plans to visit Rutgers over the summer with his family, but will not camp. His plan, he said, was to see the campus and meet the coaches during a weekend visit.

Marini also holds offers from FIU, Louisville, South Florida and Temple. He is receiving heavy interest from Virginia and UCF.

The 6-foot-4 tight end plans to decide in the summer to focus on his senior season with a state title in his crosshairs.

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