Early Enrollees Unfazed by Potential Changes

Rutgers begins classes next week, which means move-in day for five early enrollees in the class of 2014. Adding depth at multiple key positions, the next crop of recruits starts to arrive this weekend in Piscataway, N.J.

With Weeki Wachee (Fla.) offensive lineman Marcus Applefield as the newest addition, the Rutgers football family projects to get five men stronger this weekend when early enrollment begins for its 2014 recruiting class.

Applefield was the most recent of the early enrollment commits, picking the Scarlet Knights after a December official visit. Applefield spoke with head coach Kyle Flood Tuesday night, and is all set to make the trip north on Saturday.

"I'm not getting ready – because I am ready," Applefield said after speaking with Flood. "I'm excited."

Katy (Texas) tight end Logan Lister, fresh off an appearance in the Semper-Fi All-Star game, is used to moving around as a part of a military family. Lister moved from Virginia to Texas for high school, and said he is excited for a return trip to New Jersey.

"I'm actually packing right now," Lister said Tuesday night. "I'm ready to go."

Defensive end Eric Wiafe, a 2013 signee, spent a semester at New Berlin (N.Y.) Milford Academy to get ready for college. Wiafe bulked up to 255 pounds and plans to play at 3-technique this spring after getting the test scores he wanted.

Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School linebacker Brandon Russell and Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast cornerback Kam Lott round out the group expected to arrive this weekend.

"I'm excited about Kaleb Johnson coming back," said Lott, who spoke with defensive backs coach Darrell Wilson today to finalize things. "I'm coming up Saturday."

Lister, Lott and Applefield were directly involved with Ron Prince during recruiting and remain set on enrolling after Twitter reports Tuesday afternoon about the Rutgers offensive coordinator being in consideration for a spot with the Detroit Lions.

Rutgers had five early enrollees last year – quarterback Chris Laviano, cornerback Nadir Barnwell, linebacker L.J. Liston, cornerback Delon Stephenson and running back Dontea Ayres.

Three – Barnwell, Stephenson and Liston – played as true freshmen and Laviano projects to compete for the starting job this spring. Both Barnwell and Stephenson won chances to start in 2013.

"I think it's a tremendous advantage," Flood said last week regarding early enrollment. "Does it always mean that they'll play as freshmen? I don't think it does, but I think it's a tremendous advantage.

"At positions like I talked about at tight end and linebacker and offensive line, where we will have a newcomer at each one of those positions. We need to build depth. This, I think, will give them a much better chance of getting involved in those competitions than when you get here in the summer."


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