LB Liston Commits to Rutgers

Rutgers and coach Kyle Flood dipped into the prep school ranks today and received a verbal commitment from Hargrave (Chatham, Va.) middle linebacker Lester Liston. Liston is at Hargrave to get eligible for college after an impressive high-school career in Grand Blanc, Mich.

Recruiting is all about relationships. And when it comes to Lester Liston, who verbally committed to Rutgers today, it begins and ends with his long-standing relationship with linebackers coach Dave Cohen.

Cohen recruited Liston while working as the defensive coordinator at Western Michigan and informed him of a verbal offer at Rutgers shortly after joining the staff. Rutgers led throughout the restart of his recruiting process and the talented middle linebacker made things official this morning.

"[I am] committing," Liston said before his decision. "Coach [Kyle] Flood is calling me today."

Liston committed to Cincinnati out of high school, but did not sign with the Bearcats after late academic issues forced him to prep school. Since the decision to attend prep school, Rutgers recruited Liston the hardest, but he also had strong interest from Florida and Western Michigan during the summer.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound middle linebacker describes himself as a natural leader on defense and brings a vocal presence along with his size and athleticism. The original plan, he told, was to verbally commit in August after meeting head coach Kyle Flood.

The meeting, however, did not take place because of last-minute prep school obligations. Liston is instead expected to visit Rutgers during the season as his tight military schedule allows.

Liston is the second linebacker to commit to Rutgers in the class of 2013, following Timber Creek (Erial, N.J.) three-star standout Myles Nash. Liston does not have a star rating out of prep school, but the 17th member of the class held three stars in high school.

"I think that he's a steal," said national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu. "I've seen him during the camp season as s junior, knew he was a lot better than the college interest he was getting at the time. I saw him as a senior. He took it up to even another level. He's a guy that we were flirting with possibly moving to a four-star. In the end looking back, I think he probably deserved that. He's a guy, who could potentially be a four-star in the post-graduate rankings if he does what he did last year at Hargrave this year."

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