Liston Visiting Rutgers for Saturday Practice

Middle linebacker Lester Liston has one college visit between now and his planned enrollment at Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.). Interested in a decision before enrolling at Hargrave, Liston will be one of the key visitors at Rutgers this weekend during the open training camp practice.

Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) linebacker Lester Liston will visit Rutgers Saturday and his first trip to New Jersey is expected to be a memorable one.

Liston has a close relationship with linebackers coach Dave Cohen but has never seen the campus or spoken with head coach Kyle Flood.

Considering a decision before his Aug. 18 arrival at Hargrave, Rutgers is in good standing should the staff decide to heavily pursue Liston.

"I'm really excited because I'm leaning on committing," Liston said. "I'm really excited to see what it's all about down at RU and to see coach Flood interact with the players and stuff. I'm excited."

Liston committed to Cincinnati out of Grand Blanc High (Mich.), but did not sign with the Bearcats because of academic issues. A three-star linebacker last year, Liston said he is ready to put in the work necessary to get eligible for a four-year university.

"Right now, I'm expecting for it to change me as a person," Liston said. "I'm not a bad kid at all, whatsoever, but every kid has something they can tune up or something they messed up and I'm hoping that's where school can get me on track."

Liston became interested in Rutgers when Cohen, who recruited him to Western Michigan out of high school, reached out to him and informed him of a verbal scholarship offer.

"Honest to God truth, it's the work of Dave Cohen, that's what it is," Liston said on his Rutgers interest. "That's it right there. The more I see of Rutgers the more I like. I'm not a material guy, but I like the jerseys. Coach Cohen grabbed my attention to the school and I'm learning more and more. When he was at Western [Michigan], the only reason that I didn't commit was that their facilities weren't great. I'm a big weight room guy."

Liston is most excited for his Rutgers visit because of the chance to see Cohen face-to-face.

"It's going to be really good, really emotional," Liston said. "I haven't seen him since a camp, way back last summer. I'm excited to see him again. I've been in contact with him on a daily basis. We talk every day almost. It's exciting. I'm just really happy right now because he was a big part of my life."

On his visit, Liston said he is excited to receive a tour of the facilities and meet with the staff and players to see if Rutgers is a good fit.

"I watched a couple of episodes of the Rutgers documentary on YouTube," Liston said. "I watched that and I saw some stuff that looks really good. I saw [strength and conditioning coach Jeremy Cole] and he's a pretty intense guy. I love coaches like that with that fire and passion."

Cohen and Liston speak often out Rutgers, he said, and his knowledge of the program is growing. Up until this summer, Liston's Rutgers information as limited to what he saw on television.

"I really didn't know too much about Rutgers," Liston said. "I remember Eric LeGrand. I remember what happened for him and following that. I was rooting for him. I also remember the wide receiver ... Mohamed Sanu. I watched him play a few games and he was a really good receiver and Ray Rice. That's all I really knew about Rutgers before coach Cohen got there."

Liston holds a special connection to wearing No. 25, he said, and the departure of fifth-year senior cornerback Brandon Jones, makes the number open at Rutgers next season.

"That jersey number means something to me," Liston said. "It's the number I've always worn and it just gets me going and everything. It's important to wear it."


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