LB Gopre Talks Official Visit

Newark (N.J.) Weequahic star linebacker Sidney Gopre takes a significant step forward Wednesday morning when he plans to fax in his National Letter of Intent to Rutgers. Gopre was one of the biggest names on campus for official visits this weekend, and discussed his time in Piscataway and a new defensive coordinator.

Joe Rossi was involved early in the recruitment of Newark (N.J.) Weequahic linebacker Sidney Gopre, who committed to Rutgers 11 months ago. Since then, Rossi took over as defensive coordinator and Gopre went on to pick up double-digit offers and defensive player of the year honors.

The two spent plenty of time together this weekend during an official visit, and the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Gopre sees it as the right match for him in college.

"I believe he will make a big change in the right direction," Gopre said. "He's going to get that Rutgers defense going. I look forward to getting after it."

Gopre plans to make it official Wednesday on National Signing Day. When he does, it will be a major moment for celebration in his family.

"I feel pretty good about it," Gopre said. "I look forward to going to Rutgers and being a big help for them as they go to the Big Ten.

"It's going to mean a lot to me, especially for my mother and my family. I believe I'll be the first one going to college out of my whole family. That's big."

Gopre racked up huge numbers as a senior – 170 tackles, 38 TFLs and 14 sacks – on his way to defensive player of the year honors in New Jersey. While Gopre had a strong senior year, his weekend host Steve Longa had a similar impact as a freshman at Rutgers.

Longa earned Freshman All-America honors at linebacker, and was quick to share tips with Gopre over the weekend.

"It was good," Gopre said. "I got to meet him a little bit more. He talked to me about a lot of things that I should look forward to and how to stay humble going in as a freshman and stuff like that. He was just giving me good insight."

Like many prospects on their Rutgers official visit, a trip to Manhattan on the eve of the Super Bowl made for strong memories.

"Our trip to New York let us see a lot of things because of the Super Bowl," Gopre said. "We had a lot of fun at Dave & Busters too. That was good. That was my first time ever going there. I hope I can go again.

"It was pretty good. I had fun and really enjoyed myself. I had a chance to meet some of the Rutgers players and they had good advice for me. They welcomed me."

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