Looking to get back on the field, the three-star defensive end is pushing himself harder than ever to be ready for his first college training camp.
"I have to make sure I get in shape and work hard to try to improve myself," Pinnix-Odrick said. "That's the most stressful part. ... When I get there, I just want to be as prepared as I can be. I know when I get there, I'm going to have a lot of work to do, but I'm trying to be as prepared as possible and that's what's putting the most burden on me right now."
Pinnix-Odrick committed to Rutgers with the idea of playing the "R" defensive end position. Though the defensive scheme is different under new coordinator Robb Smith, the R position remains a staple of the Rutgers defense and Pinnix-Odrick expects no change in his role with the team.
"I think that's where the coaches want to put me, but whatever he (head coach Kyle Flood) says works for me," Pinnix-Odrick said. "Whatever happens, I don't know. I just know I'm going to go hard, work hard and just do what I have to do. That hard work is going to make the difference."
Pinnix-Odrick formed a friendship with many of the top players in North Jersey while being recruited. After seeing the dominance of Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) over the last three seasons, he is excited to be teammates with players like Darius Hamilton and Gary Nova, he said.
"It's going to be fun and I honestly think I can learn a lot from these guys," he said. "These guys are great. They came from the best high school in the country, the best football team in the country. I'm looking to learn a lot from them.
"Just hanging out with all of them, everybody is just light and easy going and everybody's a family just like my team at Montclair. I'm just looking to learn from everybody, especially guys who play my position. Being in college as a freshman is going to feel like it did coming to high school as a freshman."
With Montclair running back Aubrey Lewis also set to enroll at Rutgers in three weeks, Pinnix-Odrick has another reason to be excited.
Lewis joins the Scarlet Knights as a preferred walk-on after two season-ending knee injuries curbed his high-school career.
"It's really great because he deserves the opportunity," Pinnix-Odrick said. "He's probably going to be my roommate. I'm really excited that I'll be able to go through this with one of my teammates.
"I remember the first game we were out there, he was doing some crazy stuff before he got hurt. I can't wait to get back on the field with him and just watch him go to work. He's a special player and I'm excited to watch that smile when he makes his first big play or scores a touchdown."