Early Enrollment Primer

Five new scholarship athletes are expected to join the Rutgers football team for the spring semester, which begins this week. ScarletReport.com and FOXSportsNEXT.com has in-person scouting experience with the lot of them and presents breakdowns on the newest Scarlet Knights.

The list is includes three early high-school graduates and two prospects from post high school backgrounds. To get more familiar with the six additions for spring practice, ScarletReport.com compiled scouting reports from publisher Sam Hellman, Northeast recruiting analyst Brian Dohn and others with on-hand scouting experience of the prospects.

Player names are followed by their school -- height/weight.


QB Chris Laviano

Holy Trinity (Hicksville, N.Y.) – 6-1/195

Dohn: "There isn't one thing Laviano does exceptionally, but he also doesn't have any huge flaws. He's a solid quarterback prospect. He's a shade under 6-foot-2, has decent arm strength, and his accuracy is above average. Laviano can elude the rush, and brings athleticism from the lacrosse field."

Hellman: "Anything Laviano picked up about the Rutgers system goes out the window with Dave Brock's departure as offensive coordinator. Getting a quarterback in early is always big, but even more so with a new offensive coordinator coming in. Laviano will not wow you as an athlete or an overpowering arm, but is an all-around solid prospect and fits the traditional pro-style scheme of Rutgers."


RB Dontea Ayres

Middletown (Del.) via Wicomico (Salisbury, Md.) – 5-9/205

Dohn: "Ayres didn't play as a senior because of a knee injury, but he is expected to be ready for spring practice. He is a physical runner with good vision and the ability to make sharp cuts. He is physically ready to play, but he needs to work on his flexibility and his pass catching skills. Rutgers needs depth at running back, so if Ayres can pick up the offense and is able to block, he could play in the fall."

Hellman: "Rutgers is desperate for running back depth and Ayres could be part of the answer on replacing Jawan Jamison. One does not simply go from torn meniscus to Division I football, but Ayres will have to make the quick transition after a year on the sidelines. He is powerful and deceptively quick, but is not flexible enough yet."


LB Lester Liston

Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) via Grand Blanc (Mich.) – 6-2/225

Recruiting analyst Allen Trieu: "He's a very athletic kid that can run from sideline to sideline. He's also very aggressive and plays the game with a lot of passion. I think he was very underrated coming out of high school and a great pick up."

Hellman: "Liston is athletic, passionate and hungry to prove himself at the college level. After a semester at military school, expect Liston to embrace his place in the Rutgers football program and give Kevin Snyder and Quanzell Lambert a major push for playing time."


DB Nadir Barnwell

Piscataway Township High School (N.J.) – 5-11/180

Dohn: "Barnwell will enter as a cornerback, although a move to safety is not out of the realm of possibility. He has tremendous change of direction and acceleration, and his balance is exceptional. He has fluid hips and can turn quickly, and also breaks on the ball well. The biggest question is speed. Barnwell isn't a burner, but one doesn't need to be to be a very good cornerback if the rest of the technique is strong. Shoulder surgery earlier this month will keep him out of contact drills in spring practice."

Hellman: "Barnwell is already out for the spring with a shoulder injury and making the transition from high-school quarterback to full-time defensive back. I expect it to take some time for Barnwell to adjust to the physicality of playing defense at Rutgers, but he needs to be ready to go this summer. Rutgers needs cornerback depth."


DB Delon Stephenson

New Milford Academy via Sayreville War Memorial High School (Parlin, N.J.) – 5-11/175

Dohn: "Stephenson is often overlooked because so little is done on a recruiting standpoint to help kids get attention at Sayreville High, but he is a marvelous talent. He is 6-foot, 190 pounds, and fast. Stephenson has very good closing speed and he accelerates well. He also turns his hips well and can change direction, but he needs to improve his jams at the line of scrimmage."

Hellman: "Stephenson is college ready right now. He spent last summer in the Rutgers conditioning program and is going to be a contributor. I love what Stephenson brings on special teams and he comes from a high school that has already had two kids play right away for Rutgers."


Scarlet Report Top Stories