Marini Goes In-Depth on Rutgers Commitment

Lake Mary (Fla.) tight end Taylor Marini officially made himself a Scarlet Knight last night after calling the staff. Committing to Rutgers over Minnesota, UCF and USF, Marini went exclusively in-depth on his decision with

Lake Mary (Fla.) tight end Taylor Marini felt like it was just a matter of time after his Rutgers visit before things became official. Verbally committing last night in a call with head coach Kyle Flood, Marini becomes a crucial addition to a program seeking top tight ends.

"It felt great to make the call," Marini said. "It felt great to hear their reactions. I like the coaches in general and the visit was great. I'm excited about it."

Marini unofficially visited Rutgers less than a week ago with his father, where he got to see a lot of what the program is like behind the scenes. Eating at local restaurants, meeting current players and conversations with the key figureheads of the program all stood out to Marini.

"I liked the facilities, the family atmosphere," Marini said. "There was definitely a close connection with everybody there. I loved the New Jersey environment too, so we really enjoyed it."

Marini cited Rutgers as a leader during his recruitment because of relationship with tight ends coach Darnell Dinkins and defensive line coach Jim Panagos.

A former NFL tight end, Dinkins' knowledge and passion caught Marini's attention early. Panagos knew and recruited Marini to UCF since he was a freshman. At a new school, the two remain close.

"Coach Panagos is awesome," he said. "I really like him. Meeting with him was a great feeling. Coach Dinkins and Coach Flood, I really enjoy them as well. We're really excited about everything. I love the whole coaching staff and I can't wait to be a Scarlet Knight."

Telling the coaches of his intentions to play for Rutgers was a special moment for Marini, who understands that he is the top target at his position for the Scarlet Knights.

"It was a great feeling," Marini said. "They were excited and I'm excited to be a Scarlet Knight."

At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Marini is a weapon as a receiver and run blocker. In Dave Brock's pro-style system at Rutgers, he projects as a future impact player for the Scarlet Knights.

"I think I can be a dual-threat for them, both in the receiving game and the blocking game as well," Marini said. "I can fit well and help the team win a championship. That's the goal."

Marini's father is a former basketball standout at UCF and his mother was a cheerleader. Living five minutes from the campus, Rutgers sold itself well enough to convince Marini to leave home and attend college in New Jersey.

Marini's decision time-frame is heavily based on his passion for Lake Mary football, looking to limit distractions in search of a state title.

"That's really important to me," Marini said. "Now that I know where I'm going and my future is set, I can focus on winning right now and doing everything I can to get that ring."

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