Rutgers in Review: Best Gets

Rutgers finished its 2014 recruiting class by inking 26 prospects Wednesday on National Signing Day. continues to break down what Rutgers is getting with a look at the "best gets" of the class.

5. Minnesota (transfer) QB Phillip Nelson -- The majority of transfers do not work out, but Nelson is a special case. Nelson was not a third-teamer looking for a fresh start. He started 17 games in his first two seasons at Minnesota. That means Big Ten starting experience for a program making the move very soon. Nelson is not eligible this season via NCAA transfer regulations. Look for him to be a heavy contender to win the 2015 starting quarterback.

4. Palmetto (Fla.) RB Josh Hicks -- Hicks is a big get for two reasons – talent and loyalty. Hicks was the earliest prospect to ever publically commit to Rutgers at the time of his decision. Dozens of schools banged down his door over the last 18 months, and Hicks showed no interest in straying from Rutgers. Hicks has power, speed and potential to play early in similar ways to other Florida athletes in the Rutgers program.

3. Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph Regional DT Kevin Wilkins -- When Wilkins showed he could step it up in the classroom, he became a "must get" for Rutgers. Wilkins projected as a guard for most of his high-school career until showing a nasty streak at 3-technique during two state titles at St. Joe's. Wilkins is close friends with rising junior standout Darius Hamilton, and can have a similar impact inside.

2. Weeki Wachee (Fla.) OT Marcus Applefield -- To borrow a line from national recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg, Applefield is going to be a kid three years down the line that big schools in Florida wish never left the state. Applefield has everything the Big Ten likes in its offensive lineman. He is a smart football player with big country size and big country strength. Similarly to Chris Muller, the 6-foot-6, 275-pound lineman can benefit from a red-shirt and has potential to be a four-year starter.

1. Weequahic (N.J.) OLB Sidney Gopre -- It is always good to reel in the best talent in the state, and Gopre has the numbers to back it up as the best linebacker out of the Garden State.'s No. 11 player in the state is the fourth highest rated defensive player and top linebacker. Rutgers identified Gopre early in the process and locked up his commitment nearly a year ago. Since then, plenty of other schools – Miami and Wisconsin included – tried to get in on the 6-foot-1, 210-pound standout. This was the best example of coach Kyle Flood keeping a local talent solid in 2014, and the reward is a guy with 170 tackles and 38 TFLs as a senior. Rutgers needs linebacker depth, and Gopre has huge potential if developed.

Scarlet Report Top Stories