Recruiting Coordinator Analyzes 2013 Class

Recruiting coordinator Tariq Ahmad was one of the puppet masters behind the Rutgers football team's top-ranked Big East recruiting class. After the 22-player class became finalized on National Signing Day, Ahmad went 1-on-1 with to offer his behind-the-scenes take on the future of the class of 2013.

Losing all but one two assistant coaches and many office members when Greg Schiano left for the NFL, recruiting coordinator Tariq Ahmad had a lot of work to do for Rutgers to continue moving in the right direction.

Staying in the same position when coach Kyle Flood took over, Ahmad continued to work on the class of 2013 and is now looking at the top rated class in the Big East. Replacing the relationships lost during the coaching change was a challenge, but one that Flood's staff was ready to meet.

"It was an easy transition because there's great leadership," Ahmad said. "Coach Flood does an amazing job. He has great relationships across the state of Rutgers. Everyone in the state likes him and that makes it easy because we have good leadership from the top down."

With eight new assistants and defensive coordinator Robb Smith staying on in a new role, Ahmad helped pick the recruiting regions for Flood's staff.

"I love the strategy and the challenge involved in picking recruiting areas, targeting prospects and finding the right people," he said. "We have one of the best staffs in the country and they do a great job on the road."

Ahmad does not recruit off campus, but plays one of the biggest roles when prospects visit. He spear-heads the plans for official visits and builds relationships with both recruits and their families.

Getting to know all of this year's signed prospects, Ahmad cited character as one of the strong-suits.

"There is not one risk in this class," he said. "These are great kids, great families and future leaders."

After a grueling final two weeks of recruiting, Ahmad spent the morning of Signing Day on camera to break down the 22-player class.

Rutgers brought in players of all backgrounds and positions, but the NFL potential is across the board, he said.

"The ability of this class in five years is going to stand out," said Ahmad, who joined the Rutgers staff in 2007. "When we look at this in five years and they're going to the NFL, we're going to be very, very impressed with this class. [I see NFL talent] from top to bottom, with the entire class."

Like Flood, Ahmad does not get caught up in rankings and said finding unrated players with great film is the best part of his job.

"are the ones I get the most excited about, guys like Kemoko [Turay] and Sebastian Joseph," he said. "When you find a diamond in the rough that has all the talent in the world and they have great character and intangibles. You're able to project them to be great players down the road."

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