18 in 18: OL Ryan Brodie

Long Branch (N.J.) offensive lineman Ryan Brodie is today's featured incoming freshman in the "18 in 18" series. Brodie announced his verbal commitment to Rutgers at the end of January and is set to join the program officially in less than three weeks when he enrolls for summer classes.

Long Branch (N.J.) offensive lineman Ryan Brodie has had a long wait, but his college career officially begins June 24 when he moves to Rutgers for summer classes and offseason workouts.

"I can't wait for this," Brodie said. "I've been waiting for, what, three years. I'm finally going to school after all this time. It's kind of exciting."

Brodie had a close relationship with head coach Kyle Flood dating back to the beginning of his high-school career and the chance to play for him this season is an exciting one, Brodie said.

"It's going to be fun to be with him," Brodie said. "He was my recruiter long ago, so we have a really good relationship. I definitely trust him. It's going to be a fun time. I know that."

Brodie has started to build relationships with offensive line coach Damian Wroblewski and strength and conditioning coach Jeremy Cole. Both will play key roles for Brodie as he attempts to earn playing time as a true freshman at a crowded position.

"I'm looking forward to [Wroblewski] teaching me new technique and making me a better player," Brodie said. "He's my new coach and I can't wait to learn from him.

"[With Cole], It's kind of bittersweet," Brodie said. "You can't wait to go there and have him finally be able to work with you, but you're not all the way there yet. It's going to be nothing but hard work from here on."

Brodie used the spring to work out under Cole's supervision when possible. He worked alongside five-star defensive lineman Darius Hamilton and the two became close since officially visiting Rutgers the same weekend in January.

"He has a good motor and we feed off each other," Brodie said. "He makes me work harder and we both got better."

Brodie's biggest reunion upon enrollment, however, is with former high school teammate and close friend Miles Shuler. Shuler, now a sophomore wide receiver, followed a similar recruiting path to Brodie and found playing time as a true freshman because of his blazing speed.

Though Brodie did not choose Rutgers because of Shuler, he is still excited to have a familiar face and friend when he arrives.

"I've always kept in touch with him, even when he was away at school," Brodie said. "We never lost touch or anything. We've always been good friends and our families are good friends. If I would have gone to a different school, that wouldn't have changed. It's going to mean a lot to be his teammate again though."

Brodie has no expectations for his immediate role on the team and will enter training camp with an open mind.

But make no mistake, his relaxed attitude should not be confused with his drive to compete as a starter from the first day of training camp.

"I can definitely compete," Brodie said. "Every day I'm getting better. I'm trying to compete with the best, but I'm working as hard as I can to be ready. I believe it's going to be all on me if I play or not. I bust my butt every single day I'm out there and make no excuses and go to work. It's the only way."

And like the majority of young athletes, Brodie is a big fan of the new Rutgers uniform.

"Me and my father were just watching the R Football special and were looking at the uniforms and I was just excited," Brodie said. "We're coming there with a new coach, fresh start, everything is new. The uniforms are amazing."

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