17 in 17: DT Josh Klecko

Rutgers football has 17 signed freshmen in various stages of the enrollment process. Continuing our 17-in-17 series, today ScarletReport.com looks at Red Bank Catholic defensive tackle Josh Klecko.

For defensive tackle Josh Klecko, size matters not. Three weeks away from enrolling as a freshman at Rutgers, Klecko feels prepared to show what an undersized tackle with his technique can do for the soon-to-be Big Ten program.

"I won't let the size thing faze me," Klecko said. "I don't care about it. I know that with what I do, my hands, my speed, I'm always hitting the bag. I'm always working on my foot speed. I feel like I can succeed how I am. I think I can do well."

Son of legendary New York Jets player Joe Klecko and younger brother of former Temple star Dan Klecko, Josh has the right people in his corner and wants to make an early impact.

"My brother helps me with all the social side of things and the school side of college," Klecko said. "He just tells me that college is going to be the best time of my life and, pretty much, that this summer is going to be awesome with the team and a big challenge. My dad is helping me get ready with drills and working out. It's a huge help. I don't know where I'd be without them."

At 6-foot-2, 260 pounds, Klecko does not represent the prototypical Division I defensive tackle. But neither did other members of his family.

Darius Hamilton showed what an undersized lineman could do for Rutgers as a freshman last year and Klecko hopes to do the same under position coach Jim Panagos.

"I can't wait because I know he's actually going to give me a chance,"Klecko said. "I feel like, in college, I can do more things than I was allowed to do in high school. Since I'm a little more undersized, I'm not going to be taking on double teams. I'm always going to be in the backfield. That's what coach Panagos wants out of me and I'd say it's a perfect fit for what I can do."

Klecko graduates from Red Bank Catholic Wednesday and enrolls at Rutgers in less than three weeks.

"Part of me is feeling excited for the football side of things, but part of me is nervous with the school side of things," he said "… I know a lot of people might see my height or see my weight, they'll say ‘oh he's not ready.' I feel like I am. I've been working really hard with my dad. I think I'm ready. I believe that in my heart."

Klecko said he watched the unveiling of the 2014 and 2015 Big Ten schedules with great excitement and cannot wait to join the action.

"I can't wait to represent such a big-time program," he said. "It's going to be awesome, especially with coach [Kyle] Flood. I love the guy. I get so amped up [looking at the schedule]. Playing with all those fans at Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, it's going to be awesome."

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