NFL Legacy Klecko Commits to Rutgers

Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic defensive tackle Josh Klecko is the third verbal commitment for Rutgers on the day. Making his decision in the early afternoon, Klecko went in-depth with about his decision to stay home for college and represent his state.

Rutgers recruiting exploded in the last 24 hours with three verbal commitments from top targets at different positions. After adding an outside linebacker and a tight end, Rutgers filled another key need when Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic defensive tackle Josh Klecko made his verbal commitment.

Klecko, the son of New York Jet great Joe Klecko, chose Rutgers for multiple reasons, including the proximity to home.

"I've been wanting to do it for the past two weeks," Klecko said. "It's just that my dad's been away, but I decided to go ahead and do it. I've been waiting to do it for so long. It was an awesome feeling to hear how excited they were."

Klecko looked most seriously at Rutgers and Temple with proximity to home being key. His brother was a former Temple standout with the Owls also being high on his list.

"Family is No. 1 to me and I know that everyone wanted to see me go to Rutgers and I wanted to see me go to Rutgers too," Klecko said. "I know a lot of kids want to go far away from home. That's not me. I want to stay close. I want them to see me play. You never know if you have a problem and now my dad can always be there."

Along with the proximity to home, Klecko said his relationships with head coach Kyle Flood and defensive line coach Jim Panagos quickly sold him on the program.

"I love the coaches, that's No. 1. Coach Panagos is pretty much the coolest offensive line coach I've seen at a college," he said. "What he teaches at the defensive line position, is exactly what my dad teaches. I know I'll be successful in college with him teaching me. It's right across from my home, so it's very close. That's really big so my family can come see all my games."

Panagos has his father's seal of approval. Coming from a former NFL star, that is quite the compliment.

"He loves Coach Panagos," Klecko said. "He loves Coach Flood, thought he was a really good guy too. He knows when he hands me off to them, that I'm in good hands."

Klecko will come in as a nose guard and join a deep Class of 2013 defensive line including Stroudsburg (Pa.) 3-technique Sebastian Joseph and Egg Harbor (N.J.) end Eric Wiafe.

"I want to play inside," Klecko said. "I think I can be great in their scheme. My quickness will help me. I'm not worried about my size because I can gain 40 pounds of muscle like nothing in that program. I'm not worried about that."

Even though Darius Hamilton's father was a New York Giant, Klecko is excited to play with other top New Jersey linemen when he enrolls at Rutgers next year.

"That's huge for me," Klecko said. "Playing with the Rutgers guys will be great, especially Darius because I know he's a beast. It will be sweet playing with him and it will only make me better playing against the best competition."

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