CoachSpeak: Scouting Cal Ibanez

Fullerton (Calif.) Junior College tackle Cal Ibanez became a late 2014 addition for the Scarlet Knights with a May commitment to the program. Fullerton head coach Tim Byrnes spoke with Scout.com about the inside scoop on the newest offensive lineman set to join the program.

Whether or not offensive line commit Cal Ibanez redshirts is a decision left to Rutgers coach Kyle Flood and his staff.

The way Fullerton (Calif.) Junior College coach Tim Byrnes sees things, however, Ibanez will be ready to go after a 13-game schedule as a sophomore.

"I think he can [play right away] because he's played a full schedule," Byrnes said. "It's not high school. He ended up playing 13 games last year for us in junior college because we made it to the championship game. He can play right away, but that decision is going to be made by that staff. If they're going to redshirt him, then redshirt him. If they're going to play him, he'll be ready."

Ibanez, originally from Miami, Fla., fielded varying levels of interest from colleges during his sophomore year. Quiet until the spring, Ibanez began hearing from Rutgers in April after a call from staff member Fred Mariani.

Rutgers quickly set up a visit with Ibanez, who made his decision immediately thereafter.

"He took a trip this weekend, and obviously it was good because that's where he's committed," Byrnes said. "I know coach Mariani called up and asked if we had any offensive tackles for him. I told I got one left, but he's not going to last long. He and their coaching staff jumped on it, and got it going pretty quickly."

The 6-foot-4, 320-pounder gives Rutgers an instant depth improvement with questions beyond the 2014 season on the offensive line.

"I think it will be a good fit for him," Byrnes said. "I think he's been working hard to get in shape, and he's ready to go play Big Ten football. He's going to have to be ready because it's a whole new world.

"He played tackle for us, but I don't know if he'll play tackle or guard or center for Rutgers. He can play all three if need be, but our line had him at tackle. He did a great job and kept the line strong all year."

Look for Ibanez to make his presence known in the meeting rooms, and help bring leadership to an already veteran offensive line.

"One thing everybody overlooks nowadays in football is a team player," Byrnes said. "He's a leader on that offensive line. He wants to be a leader on the offensive line, and I think he'll bring that leadership. He already has the physical tools. He's got great size and strength, but I think he'll be a great teammate as well."


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