17 in 17: TE Taylor Marini

Rutgers football has 17 signed freshmen in various stages of the enrollment process. Continuing our 17-in-17 series, today ScarletReport.com looks at tight end Taylor Marini, who enrolled and began classes this week.

Lake Mary (Fla.) tight end Taylor Marini had all of 48 hours to enjoy his summer break from school before he picked up and moved to New Jersey to start college.

Graduating from Lake Mary Wednesday afternoon and moving to Rutgers Friday morning, Marini feels ready to meet the challenges of his first college training camp.

"I think I'm as ready as I can be," Marini said before enrolling. "Do I think that I'm ready for whatever they're going to throw t me? I don't think anybody can be, but I'm ready to give it my best shot. … I'm extremely excited for the opportunity and grateful at the same time. You can't ask for much more and it's just an awesome feeling."

Rutgers sent tight end D.C. Jefferson to the NFL draft and has just two seasoned players at the position going into camp. Marini, who grew two inches and added nearly 30 pounds in the last year, wants to compete for early playing time.

"Everybody is hoping for that chance to play early," Marini said. "I think I can come in and contribute in some fashion right away and learn as much as I can."

Marini and his family grew close to coach Kyle Flood and defensive line coach Jim Panagos during the recruiting process.

Committed to Rutgers shortly after an unofficial visit and face-to-face meeting with Flood, Marini is ready to play for him.

"Words can't even describe what it will mean [to play for Flood]," Marini said. "I can't wait for that first workout."

Studying his playbook and working out with the Rutgers plan this spring, Marini said he is most eager to meet with new offensive coordinator Ron Prince and tight ends coach Anthony Campanile.

Marini spent his recruitment getting to know offensive coordinator Dave Brock and tight ends coach Darnell Dinkins, who both left the program in the offseason.

"I'm excited about it," he said. "I haven't gotten to meet or talk with them yet, so it's time to start working with them. I want to get better and I know Rutgers is the place to go to do that."

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Marini was a three-star recruit and the No. 50 player at his position in the class of 2013.

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