17 in 17: WR John Tsimis

Rutgers football has 17 signed freshmen in various stages of the enrollment process. Continuing our 17-in-17 series, today ScarletReport.com looks already enrolled wide receiver John Tsimis out of Bergen Catholic.

Rutgers and coach Kyle Flood stood by receiver John Tsimis when no others did after a torn ACL 12 months ago. Though thankful to Flood and Rutgers, Bergen Catholic (Oradel, N.J.) head coach Nunzio Campanile said they will be the ones to reap the ultimate rewards.

Approaching full health going into training camp, Tsimis brings Rutgers a unique weapon at wide receiver.

"He's honestly one of the greatest competitors I've ever coached," Campnaile said. "He's extremely talented, an unbelievable worker. He's got great talent. He's going to surprise people with how talented he is and he's worked really hard to get back from his injury. It's probably one of the most devastating injuries we've ever had in my coaching career. He's really a great player and a special kid."

Tsimis tore his ACL in the summer before his senior year and has not played competitive football since his injury. When most BCS schools pulled his offers or cooled in his recruitment, Flood only amped things up and received a commitment during the summer.

"It says a lot about the character of, not just coach Flood, but the entire staff," Campanile said. "They never balked at all. That was really important to John. When a couple of other colleges tried to get involved later, he totally respected the fact that Rutgers and those guys wanted him from the start and they treated him that way.

"He's so excited to be there and be playing football again. Those guys showed a lot of class and character in the way they recruited him. It means a lot to me. I'll always be there to spread that word to anybody that ever asks."

Tsimis enjoyed a breakout season before his injury. As a junior, he helped lead Bergen Catholic to the state championship game in 2012 and finished with 754 yards and 11 touchdowns. On crutches last summer, he slowly fought his way back from injury.

Before enrolling at Rutgers last week, Tsimis spent the spring working out with his Bergen Catholic family and other Division I bound prospects. Graduating earlier this month, Tsimis began classes and Rutgers workouts the day after Memorial Day.

"I've been out throwing with him a lot in the spring and I really think that he's there," Campanile said. "He's just got to mentally cut it loose when he's competing with other players. He's going to bring the greatest hands and discipline that you'll ever see. It's really going to be awesome to see how he helps them in the coming years. He's going to be ready to play really soon."

Tsimis has the added benefit of familiarity with his future coaches. Newly promoted tight ends coach Anthony Campanile, who also works with receivers, is Nunzio Campanile's brother.

"No doubt we're excited," Nunzio Campanile said. "I think both of those guys, Anthony and [graduate assistant Matt Simon] are going to be great for him. They're going to like his work ethic and his willingness to do everything the right way. It's a coach's dream."

The 5-foot-11 Tsimis ranked in as a three-star recruit in 2013 and the No. 183 overall player at his position."

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