18 in 18: WR Ruhann Peele

Linden (N.J.) High and wide receiver Ruhann Peele is the next stop on ScarletReport.com's 18 in 18 series. Peele was the first Rutgers commit in the Class of 2012 and spoke to ScarletReport.com this week about his focus on academics and expectations for college.

The final high school report card is all that stands between Linden (N.J.) wide receiver Ruhann Peele and Rutgers. According to his head coach, Deon Candia, Peele has done the work necessary to put himself in position for enrollment and simply needs to finish the year strong to continue his path to Rutgers.

Committing in April of 2011, Peele has had the longest wait to Rutgers of anyone in the Class of 2012 and the wait is almost over, with enrollment day standing three weeks away.

"I can't wait to get there," Peel said. "I've been counting the days since I committed. I just want that feel of coming to campus and walking around. I want to play football."

Peele has been open since his commitment about a need to improve his academics to qualify for college. In the last 15 months, Peele shut himself out of the spotlight and went so far as to delete his Facebook page to avoid distractions.

His reward? Barring any late snags, he expects to be good to go on June 24, according to Candia.

"I had to put a lot of the things I wanted to do out of the way to make sure that I qualify," Peele said. "I worked really hard this year and it's looking good. I put a lot more time into everything that I was doing and it paid off I think."

Peele has his sights set on Rutgers, where he returns to wide receiver after moving to running back as a senior to help his team.

"That's big, I miss it a lot," Peele said.

Peele watched Rutgers closely last year and plans to show up at Rutgers ready to compete with starters Brandon Coleman and Mark Harrison.

"The guys there now are great, but I'm coming there looking to compete with them for their job," he said. "I know I'm new, but I have to go in there wanting to battle for a starting job. ... We all want to replace [Mohamed] Sanu."

Step one for Peele is keeping his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame in shape. He practiced all winter with the basketball team and was one of Linden's top performers on the track this spring.

"I'm in tip-top shape," Peele said. "I run every day, all the time. I'm ready to go. I know I am. I'm in really good shape."

Peele had no reservations about signing with Rutgers following the coaching change the week of National Signing Day. But four months have passed and he still has not had much interaction with the new staff.

He is excited to get the opportunity when he enrolls, after visiting campus just once since he signed.

"I haven't talked or had that much of a relationship with the coaches yet," Peele said. "I haven't been down there much, but when I get there, I'm sure I'll like them.

"I don't know too much about [Dave Brock]. He's the offensive coordinator on top of receivers coach, so that's definitely good for me."

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