Scout's Take: Kraut & Russell

Rutgers added two verbal commitments out of Florida this week in linebacker Branden Russell and fullback Jacob Kraut. With Rutgers up to 17 commitments in the class of 2014, recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg offers his take on the two newest commits from the Sunshine State.

Fletcher (Neptune Beach, Fla.) fullback Jacob Kraut and University School (Fort Lauderdale. Fla.) linebacker Branden Russell became two of three mid-week commitments for Rutgers.

Kraut committed Thursday evening after a meeting with coach Kyle Flood and Russell did the same the day before during an unofficial visit. recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg scouted both Florida prospects and sees bright sides of both unranked recruits.

"Close your eyes and think old school and that's Jacob Kraut," Newberg said. "A physical player whether blocking or running the ball, he is a punishing blocker not afraid of contact. If he completes his first assignment with a pancake he will look for someone else to hit, got to love that."

Kraut comes to Rutgers as a true fullback, but can also be a weapon with the ball in his hands.

"As a runner he's just a bulldozer," he said. "Not great speed but he's a north-south guy that runs tough behind his pads. He's powerful and has good leg drive. In that Rutgers offense he's a nice fit for what they do."

Russell committed quickly after receiving a Rutgers offer and presents the kind of Florida athlete for which Rutgers defenses are known.

"I haven't seen him in person but on film he looks like he has a nice frame that needs to fill out," Newberg said. "He plays a lot in space and is around the ball more often than not. Russell is not afraid to stick his nose in there. Most importantly, he runs very well."

Russell will be a key cog in the University School defense looking to replace multiple BCS seniors from last year's championship roster.

"He's in space a lot and can re-direct nicely, quickly," Newberg said. "So what you have here is a nice find now playing at a big time HS program like University. He needs to get bigger and has some nice tools and traits. This is what recruiting is all about. I see him as an early guy that sees the field on special teams and then gets bigger and earn more prominent playing time with the defense. I am looking forward to seeing him play this fall."

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