Recruiting Needs Reset: Defense

Spring practice is over and the coaching staff is out and about, so takes a look a where recruiting stands on the defensive side of the ball.

A week after signing day broke down the offensive and defensive needs of the recruiting class.

Now, with seven non-binding oral commitments in the 2015 class, and the coaching staff scattered around the East Coast and Florida, takes a look at where the class stands, and the second of the two-part series focuses on the defense.

Defensive end (2-3): Rutgers secured a commitment from Columbia (Md.) Long Reach's Ron'Dell Carter, but the Scarlet Knights are not done recruiting the position. They could take as many as four defensive ends, and there are plenty of options on the board.

Poolesville (Md.) High's Jon Bateky is high on Rutgers, as is New Rochelle (N.Y.) Iona Prep's Qaadir Sheppard. Rutgers is also pushing hard for Philadelphia George Washington's Shareef Miller, whose offer list continues to grow weekly. Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep's Jordan Fox is a hybrid who will likely play defensive end in college, and the Manasquan (N.J.) High's Tanner Cowley continues to hold an offer.

If the Scarlet Knights want to be patient through the summer, Gibsonton (Fla.) East Bay's Marques Ford and Dade City (Fla.) Pasco's Andrew Ivie could make visits.

And when it comes to the two Big Man Academy sessions Rutgers will host in June, the opportunity to earn an offer exists for for Bridgeton (N.J.) High's Nazir Williams and Washington (D.C.) St. John's College's Eric Assoua.

Defensive tackle (2): At this point, Brooklyn Grand Street's Kamaal Seymour is committed to Rutgers at this position, but a move to the offensive line the early part of his career seems logical. So, where do the Scarlet Knights got from there? Right now it is a game of waiting since no offers are out to "realistic" defensive tackle prospects, but that should change once the Big Man Academy takes place.

Linebacker (2-3): The Scarlet Knights only offered two projected middle linebackers – Penn State commit and Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood's Jake Cooper and Seminole (Fla.) Osceola's Riley Nicholson – and are more focused on outside linebackers, with the big target being Barnegat (N.J.) High's Manny Bowen, who is thinking hard about staying close to home.

The Scarlet Knights are also offered and remain in contention for Warrington (Pa.) Central Bucks South's Josh Adams (also being recruited as a running back), Union City (N.J.) High's Daiquan Kelly, who also likes receiver, Princeton (N.J.) The Hun School's Chris Sharpe, Paramus (N.J.) Catholic's Saleem Brightwell, Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake's Carson Lydon and Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward's Troy Henderson.

Also, strong camp performances from Mullica Hill (N.J.) Clearview Regional's Sterling Sheffield, Philadelphia Imhotep's Shaquille Jones and Brooklyn Erasmus Hall's Deonte Roberts could earn offers.

Cornerback (2-3): The big name on the board is Parlin (N.J.) Sayreville's Myles Hartsfield, who likes the Scarlet Knights a lot but is also being recruited by Penn State. He is a regular on campus and is close with Monmouth Junction (N.J.) South Brunswick's Dontae Strickland, and the two could wind up at Rutgers together.

The Scarlet Knights have plenty of other offers out, including ones to Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga's Sam Morrison, Waldorf (Md.) Thomas Stone's Juwuan Briscoe and Glassboro (N.J.) High's Ronnie James.

At this point, although Rutgers offered Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco's Daivon Ellison, it doesn't look like the pursuit to get him is continuing very hard.

Safety (2): The Scarlet Knights already have a commitment from Newark (N.J.) Weequahic's Al-Kadir Ports, but need at least one other safety as it looks to replenish depth. Montclair (N.J.) High's Elijah Robinson holds an offer, but he wants to play quarterback in college and as a few option to do so. Rutgers also told him it would give him a look at the position.

At one time, Coatesville (Pa.) High's Jazzee Stocker was on the radar, but he did not show a desire to visit campus in the spring.

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