Clayton Educated by Rutgers Visit

Paramus (N.J.) Catholic three-star receiver Najee Clayton saw a different side of Rutgers on a Saturday unofficial visit to campus. Clayton spoke after returning home about how six hours in Piscataway changed his perception of his in-state school.

Paramus (N.J.) Catholic three-star receiver Najee Clayton learned that he needed to see Rutgers first hand before judging the program. One of the key on-campus visitors Saturday, Clayton left with Rutgers "way up" on his list.

"I absolutely loved it," Clayton said. "All the other Paramus Catholic recruits that graduated this year basically were telling me negative things about Rutgers, and I was kind of feeding into it. Once I actually visited, it changed my whole thought process of the school. I really enjoyed it."

Clayton pointed to meeting new coaches on the staff and the move to the Big Ten as positives for the program.

"They're heading in the right direction," Clayton said. "… I had a little sit-down with [offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen] over some food talking with him. I had a little meeting with coach [Kyle] Flood in his office. They were great guys."

Tight ends coach Anthony Campanile is Clayton's primary recruiter.

"He's awesome," Campanile said. "Him actually being a Jersey guy makes him even more awesome. We've built a relationship over the past couple of weeks, so that's good."

Rutgers does not have any players on the active roster from Paramus Catholic, but many with North Jersey ties had a message for Clayton during his visit.

"A coach will tell you anything and everything you want to hear, but talking to the players is different," Clayton said. "That's real. That's as real as it gets to me. That was a huge deal with me."

Clayton has no visits set in stone, but aims to get out to see other schools this spring. His offers and visit targets include Virginia, Boston College, Pittsburgh and Connecticut.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound receiver does not plan on deciding soon, and is focused on preparing for his senior season at Paramus Catholic.

Back to back state champions, Paramus Catholic enters the 2014 season as underdogs after graduations of a strong senior class highlighted by Jabrill Peppers.

"Everybody thinks that since Jabrill left, we're not going to be any good," Clayton said. "They think that it can't be done again, and I just want to prove everyone wrong and shut up all of the doubters and the haters to win a third one."


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