Rutgers Class of 2012

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — At his first charity golf tournament, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood held court with reporters to discuss a variety of topics surrounding the program. In this segment, ScarletReport.com has the latest take from Kyle Flood on the freshmen joining the program this weekend and those already enrolled.

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — Kyle Flood's first six months as Rutgers head coach were filled with milestones and benchmarks, but this weekend may blow them all out of the water.

Flood and the Scarlet Knights welcome the rest of the top recruiting class in school history as they enroll for classes and begin the summer program.

"This is a really big day because now we get to add a group of players to our program," Flood said "... We get to add 14 others that are not with us yet that are going to be a big part of the reason why we have success with Rutgers going forward. To get them in our program and get them reactivated, that's a great event for us."

Little Hammer

One of the most anticipated and celebrated Rutgers recruits, five-star defensive lineman Darius Hamilton, has been on campus for nearly a month.

Because of NCAA rules, Flood and the staff cannot evaluate players during the summer program, but the conversations between the two since enrollment are nothing but good signs for Hamilton, who is expected to play immediately.

"I've talked to Darius," Flood said. "I asked him how he feels and he feels really good. He feels really comfortable with what we're doing on defense. ... [Don Bosco] runs a similar system and I don't think the things we're going to ask Darius to do are going to be completely foreign to him."

Flood expects Hamilton to begin at defensive end and see how he develops physically before considering a move.

The mix of maturity and need put Hamilton in position to play , Flood said.

"I think certain guys are probably a little bit physically mature and that's what you look for when you're trying to project," Flood said. "We don't predetermine any of it, but I would think a guy like Darius Hamilton, who is a very physically mature guy and is somebody that I think is going to have a great opportunity to help us early."

Hamilton is not a sure-fire lock for playing time, but Flood has been nothing but impressed with the son of New York Giants star Keith Hamilton since seeing him as a high-school prospect.

"When I watched Darius Hamilton play in high school, there weren't a lot of things I didn't think he could do," Flood said.

Position Groupings

When it comes to the athlete recruits, Flood has an idea of where he'd like to play them. DePaul (Wayn, N.J.) Catholic's Davon Jacobs and South Brunswick's (Monmouth Junction. N.J.) Jevon Tyree will both start as defensive backs.

Sayreville's (Parlin, N.J.) Delon Stephenson will come to Rutgers as a running back.

"A guy like Mohamed Sanu came in as a safety and I want to say it was probably 10 or 11 practices in that spring when we flipped him over to wide receiver because we felt like we had a need," Flood said. "For a lot of these guys coming out of high school at skill positions, they can fit into two positions most of them."

Jacobs and Tyree will both begin as cornerbacks before being tried as safety, as is the norm for Rutgers defensive backs.

The Next Freshman Quarterback

Flood did not watch the Big 33 All-Star Game but is well aware of the big performance for quarterback Blake Rankin.

Gary Nova and Chas Dodd will be the main competitors for time this season, but Flood and the staff are very excited to get a look at Rankin when he enrolls this week.

"That's really exciting, but we wanted Blake Rankin as one of our program because of our eyes and our ears and our hearts," Flood said on Rankin's MVP game. "That's how you have to recruit. I know that [former offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti] was really excited when he was here about Blake Rankin and I know [quarterbacks coach Rob Spence] and [offensive coordinator Dave Brock] are really excited about him."

Offensive Line Youth

Flood sees many of the incoming linemen as capable of earning early time, but he is also happy with the depth developed ahead of them.

"We have some guys on the offensive line, but I'm hoping with our depth, we don't need to put them in the fire," Flood said. "Guys like Chris Muller, Ryan Brodie, J.J. Denman, they're very physically mature guys, so we'll see. At the skill positions, we have some depth at receiver, which is exciting, so we'll have to see where these new guys fit in. We certainly have some depth in the secondary."

Flood does not anticipate needing to play a freshman quarterback or running back this season, he said.


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