Rutgers football coach Kyle Flood is New Yorker, and being well represented in the city is important to him.
From fan support to TV ratings, the Rutgers presence in New York includes getting high school prospects, and Flood made that message clear to New Rochelle (N.Y.) Iona Prep defensive end Qaadir Sheppard.
"We talked a lot about New York," Sheppard said. "He always tells me about how he was at the Catholic schools there and he went to St. Francis Prep. He likes to talk about that with me."
Sheppard camped as a defensive end during the first of two Rutgers Big Man Academy. The camp began with a 1-on-1 meeting between himself and Flood.
"It was just a good conversation." Sheppard said. "It was one of our regular conversations. He was just telling me about how Rutgers needed me and stuff like that."
Sheppard worked closely with defensive line coach Jim Panagos and defensive coordinator Joe Rossi during his camp.
"I thought it was great," Sheppard said. "I did really well. I learned a lot of new things. I learned some specific things, like technique and stuff like that. … Coach Panagos and coach Rossi were awesome. [Panagos] told me a lot of stuff. I think he's a great coach. He's very helpful with his players."
"Rutgers is very high on my list, but I don't have a leader right now," Sheppard said.
Sheppard plans to visit both Syracuse and Boston College before a decision, but does not have a date set for either trip.