Liston Goes In-Depth on Rutgers Commitment

The Rutgers class of 2013 keeps building steam with Hargrave (Chatham, Va.) Military Academy linebacker Lester Liston making his verbal commitment this afternoon. Liston spoke 1-on-1 with after his commitment to discuss the reasons and emotions behind his decision along with his time-table for arrival.

In his mind, Lester Liston has been committed to Rutgers for a few months. All that stood in his way was the lack of a relationship with head coach Kyle Flood and the need to get settled at Hargrave Military Academy (Chatam, Va.).

Liston finally got his opportunity to speak with Flood about why he wants to come to Rutgers and is comfortably settled in at prep school with enrollment on his mind.

"It feels good to finally be able to call myself a Rutgers guy," Liston said. "I'm just relieved. It's the best feeling in the world because when no one else was calling, [Rutgers] was there in my corner. It feels really exciting."

Liston, who made the call to formally commit this morning, has been all about Rutgers behind the scenes since a conversation he had with linebackers coach Dave Cohen at the end of his senior year of high school.

Out of Grand Blanc High (Mich.), Liston verbally committed to Cincinnati as a three-star prospect, but did not sign with the Bearcats in February after it became clear that grades would be an eligibility issue.

So after deciding to go to prep school, Liston was getting ready for his senior prom when Cohen called him out of the blue. Cohen was Liston's lead recruiter at Western Michigan and quickly informed him that he had a new job at Rutgers and wanted him to come play there.

"He's been like a second father figure for me," Liston said. "It's crazy to know I'm going to play for him. He's been trying to coach me for a long time now. … Having that to look forward to is like a dream come true."

Liston formally received a verbal offer later and quickly began researching Rutgers and what it brings to the table. Following stories like Mohamed Sanu and Eric LeGrand, Liston liked a lot about Rutgers and decided over the summer that he would commit to the Scarlet Knights when his life settled down.

"Talking to coach Flood, he said how much they like what I'm doing and thinks I can help them out," Liston said. "I'm going to go there to try and be a leader and a big part of that defense."

Scheduled to visit Rutgers and commit over the summer, Liston delayed his trip because of Hargrave obligations. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound middle linebacker prospect is now settled at Hargrave, where he plans to spend the semester before moving to Rutgers in January.

"It's crazy in Hargrave, but really good," Liston said. "It's hard to explain. The structure and everything is different, but I'm adjusting to it. If you want to [get to college], do this right. It's going to make me a better person."

Liston is in the process of scheduling an official visit to campus and expects to arrive during the winter. Cohen, he said, will come visit him at Hargrave as soon as possible.

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