CB Hyde Commits to Rutgers as Walk-on

Oakmont (Roseville, Calif.) cornerback Justin Hyde selected Rutgers as his preferred walk-on destination last night, ending the recruiting process. The class of 2013 prospect will return to his East Cost roots when he enrolls for classes in Piscataway, N.J., this summer.

For Oakmont (Roseville, Calif.) cornerback Justin Hyde, Rutgers represents a homecoming and the best opportunity to play big-time football. Committing this week, Hyde becomes the fifth preferred walk-on commit to Rutgers coach Kyle Flood in the class of 2013 and the first at cornerback – a position of need.

Hyde originally hails from Brooklyn, but moved to California in elementary school. With family still nearby, Hyde said he is ready to return east.

"I've always wanted to go back to school there for college," Hyde said. "The campus is only about 50 minutes from my family, so it's not like I'm stranded there away from home. … The academics played a big part in it and the location. That's big-time football. They're always a big contender in the Big East and they're going to be in the Big Ten soon. It's all of those factors that played into it."

Hyde did not visit Rutgers during the recruiting process, but has a visit set up with his family.

"I just want to meet the coaches and talk to some of the players and start developing a relationship with my teammates and see the facilities and the weight room and the dorms," Hyde said. "I want to see what their talent is like in-person."

Hyde followed Rutgers closely on and off the field as a high-school senior, saying the academic opportunities in New Jersey stood out.

"The APR (academic progress rate) stood out," Hyde said. "The football team is getting so much pride in their players' educations. That's one thing that they really stressed to me. The study halls and the opportunities offered to me will make sure I can get it done and be successful in the classroom. That comes first."

At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds Hyde followed Rutgers cornerbacks closely and said his physical style matches what he sees on tape with the top players in the program. He will come in as a cornerback, but could also play safety.

"Logan Ryan, the McCourty twins, I'm a big fan of all those guys," Hyde said. "I love the style that they teach down there. They're big cornerbacks and they're pretty fast. They're first to put their nose in deliver a hit. That's how I like to play cornerback. I'm a big cornerback, so I like to make some tackles and take pride in my coverage."

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