As the 2014 Big Man Academy approaches, one of the 2013 stars of the event is ready to enroll at Rutgers.
Rumson (N.J.) Fair Haven three-star defensive end Donald Bedell earned an offer after last year's lineman camp. He committed shortly thereafter, and signed his LOI in February.
"Every day, I just think it's ‘X' amount of days until I get there," Bedell said. "I'm very excited because we're getting into the home stretch here."
Bedell will get a look for early playing time at defensive end, and plans to show up as prepared as possible. He spent his spring working out with the top talents in his area, including Notre Dame bound tackle Quenton Nelson.
"I'm working out with all of our offensive linemen from around here," Bedell said. "I'm working on my technique and explosion drills and everything. The workouts have been great. I'm getting myself ready for the big time.
"I know it's going to be hard. I have good friends that play Division I football. I know it's going to be a challenge, and I just want to fit in. I'm going to work hard and fit in with the guys."
Bedell watched the 2014 class change over the offseason with many commits deciding to look elsewhere. He received similar pressure from other schools, but stayed solid to his Rutgers commitment.
"I know all of us that stayed knows 100 percent that's where we want to be," he said. "People de-commit, and that's part of life. Everyone needs to find the best spot for them. We're all 17 or 18-year old kids. It's a hard thing to do. I think the guys that stayed are exactly what we need. Those are high-character guys, and the kind I want as my teammates."
Bedell communicated casually with his classmates during his senior year, but said the 2014 spring game served as a significant bonding moment.
"The spring game was definitely a big step," Bedell said. "It was the first time that many of us were together. We were all signed and ready to go. Obviously, I met a lot of guys on my official visit, but the spring game was just different. It was a good experience."
During the January visit period, head coach Kyle Flood met Bedell at his home to discuss the coordinator situation alongside then-special teams coach Joe Rossi.
Bedell came out of the meeting reassured about the coordinator search, and became even happier when Rossi received a promotion.
"It's so important, those guys are a huge reason why I committed there," Bedell said. "Coach Rossi was my recruiter, and moving him to the defensive coordinator position is just a bonus because I know him so well already. I couldn't be more excited about [defensive line coach Jim] Panagos too."