CoachSpeak: Scouting Saeed Blacknall

The run on Manalapan Braves continues for Rutgers, which added four-star wide receiver Saeed Blacknall Saturday during an unofficial visit. Blacknall is the second scholarship player to commit to Rutgers sin the last four years and his head coach, Ed Guerrieri, has high expectations for him.

Some recruits bring top-end athleticism and others are big-time football players. According to Englishtown (N.J.) Manalapan High head coach Ed Guerrieri, new Rutgers commit Saeed Blacknall brings both.

The top rated receiver in New Jersey in 2014, Blacknall is an elite track athlete that has the football skills to take over the Big Ten.

"Besides his extreme, freak athleticism, Saeed really is a great football player," Guerrieri said. "He can beat you as a pure athlete, but he really is a tough competitor, great ball skills. He is dangerous."

Blacknall lost in the state championship game last year while playing at High Point Solutions Stadium. Hungry to return as a senior after back-to-back runner-up seasons, a preseason decision was key in Blacknall's recruitment.

"He always had planned to commit by this time," Guerrieri said. "I told him, take all the time you need but he always said he wanted to get it done because winning a state championship this year is his first goal."

Blacknall chose Rutgers over Alabama, LSU and Ohio State. The chance to play close to home played a factor, as did his relationship with Rutgers coach Kyle Flood and quarterback Mike Bimonte, a Manalapan grad.

"Rutgers has always been great," Guerrieri said. "It's a great staff and Saeed knows he is going to be in good hands with those coaches. It's a perfect mix. He's going to the Big Ten and his family can see him every game. It's a win-win."

Flood hired former Manalapan assistant Cody High during the offseason. The chance for Blacknall to reunite with him was cause for excitement, Guerrieri said.

"That's great, very exciting," he said. "Cody was like a mentor for Saeed. They have a great relationship and were very close when he coach him here at Manalapan. Cody played at Manalapan. He's a Manalapan guy and his future is very bright at Rutgers."


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