Early Enrollment Spotlight: Marcus Applefield

Rutgers plucked talented three-star offensive lineman Marcus Applefield out of talent-rich Florida, and he is one of five to enroll at Rutgers last week. Applefield spoke with ScarletReport.com yesterday about his happiness in New Jersey and building friendships with veteran Scarlet Knights.

Marcus Applefield made the decision to enroll at Rutgers after a successful official visit hosted by Chris Muller. Muller, another big lineman with a "country" background, made his mark as a red-shirt freshman by winning a starting job in camp.

By enrolling for spring practice, Applefield hopes to follow Muller's lead.

"The reason I came [early] was for academics, and to get a head start on football," Applefield said. "Get your head in the playbook, getting through the whole weight lifting season and all that."

Applefield is a tackle, where Keith Lumpkin and Taj Alexander are relatively established starters. One of his first moves after enrolling last week was to latch on to older players to learn the ropes.

Applefield spent the weekend with Muller, and is eager to pick up tips.

"All the time they definitely help me out," Applefield said " … He (Muller) is really just a great example of what I'm trying to be. He has a similar personality, and he's always there to help me out."

Adjusting to New Jersey, and Rutgers, has been a "fun experience" for Applefield. Applefield is used to what he describes as the Florida country lifestyle. New Brunswick is as different as it gets for him.

"The people definitely stand out," Applefield said. "Usually, I'm just used to old people being everywhere. You know, being in Florida, that's just how it is. It's definitely a different lifestyle from where I've lived. There's me and only one other guy that wear camo (tight end Taylor Marini). People say camo, what are you hunting? No. It's just an attire."

Applefield had multiple conversations with his fellow 2014 offensive lineman about trying to be the best line class in the country. He spent time with Tariq Cole and Justin Herron during his official visit.

Applefield will also see offensive line commits Zack Heeman, Jacquis Webb and Herron this weekend during official visits.

When they become his teammates, Applefield plans to use his extra semester on campus to help ease others into the system.

"I feel good, very good," Applefield said. "Finally getting here early, I'm obviously getting a good head start. Just going through the motions, obviously I can help every freshman that gets here or may come here. I want to be a leader. That's a big thing that I want to do.

"It definitely gives us an edge. We can get things rolling, get started right away. We can get right into action."

Newly hired offensive line coach Mitch Browning has been busy on the road recruiting, but made sure to find time to get to know Applefield. Applefield committed to Rutgers before Browning's hire and after the firing of Damian Wroblewski.

"I like him a lot," Applefield said on Browning. "I think he's a great guy with his head on his shoulders. From his past history, he's a great coach."

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