Rutgers Offers DE Gaziano

Westwood (Mass.) Xaverian Brothers defensive end Joe Gaziano was one of the biggest names on the Rutgers campus Saturday and he left with a verbal scholarship offer. Gaziano detailed his visit and offer after leaving campus.

The highlight of a Saturday Rutgers visit for Westwood (Mass.) Xaverian Brothers defensive end Joe Gaziano came early. Before heading to the morning spring practice, Gaziano hauled in a verbal scholarship offer during a 1-on-1 meeting with head coach Kyle Flood.

It is the second Big Ten offer for Gaziano, who returned home in the evening after spending most of the day in New Jersey.

"It was pretty cool," Gaziano said. "I've been talking to coach [Jim] Panagos for a while, so it's good to finally meet him and talk with him face to face. Coach Flood was awesome too. It was a sigh of relief to get that offer. Now I know they definitely want me on that football team."

Gaziano earned his offer while speaking with Flood, who stressed the Big Ten and need for strength in the trenches.

"I was very impressed with him," Gaziano said. "He's a well-spoken guy. He definitely knows what he's doing at Rutgers. He's emphasizing their move to the Big Ten and how they know it's going to be a big bump for their program and advance the football part of the university. It was good to talk to him. He was great."

The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder is being recruited as a defensive end. He kept a close eye on the position group at practice.

"All of the guys under coach Panagos are definitely working hard," he said. "He brings out the most in all of them. All of the linemen were using great technique and great footwork. It was interesting to watch, especially against the offensive line. They have some great offensive linemen and they were able to compete at a high level throughout the practice."

The attitude and enthusiasm from Panagos toward his position group stood out.

"He's a high-energy guy," he said. "He definitely has a passion for football and the d-linemen respond to that. It was great to see him in action and how he works with his players."

Massachusetts, Northwestern and Boston College have also offered.

"I don't really have a favorite right now, so I'm considering Rutgers and everyone," he said. "It's a great school, a great education. It's a big-time conference. Right now I'm considering Rutgers as much as any other school I'm looking at."

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