Rutgers is not new to Cranford (N.J.) 2016 offensive lineman Will Fries as his first BCS offer. Rutgers offensive line coach Mitch Browning is also not new to Fries, who met him on multiple visits prior to this week.
Returning home from a Friday unofficial visit however, both Rutgers and Browning are on the mind of the 6-foot-6 interior lineman.
“I loved watching coach Browning,” Fries said. “I really picked up a lot of his key coaching points that he was pointing out to the players when I watched him. When we got to talking, he just kept saying, ‘I really want to coach you. I look forward to you coming to more practices.’”
Fries got a sideline view of the Rutgers offensive line during Friday afternoon’s practice.
“It’s really awesome,” he said. “Their offensive line is looking really good right now, and it’s definitely a place that I may want to be at some point. They put players in the NFL, and that’s the ultimate goal for me. … I think it’s a really good line with coach Browning running things.”
Cranford is a short drive from High Point Solutions Stadium, however Rutgers was not a focus for Fries until high school.
“I would say I’ve known about them, but I haven’t really followed them until my recruiting started,” he said. “… I really like Rutgers right now. They are definitely showing a lot of interest. They treat me like family. I really like that, and I like coach Browning a lot. [Head coach Kyle] Flood is awesome.”
Proximity to home is an early advantage, but that could change for Fries.
“I’m not really sure at this point,” he said.” Having Rutgers close to home, I like that right now. When it comes to making my decision and if I want to stay close to home or go away, I don’t know. It’s still pretty early. … [Right now], developing me as a player and education, those are probably the two most important things to me because those are the keys to success at the next level.”
Miami, Penn State, Connecticut and Boston College are among the other schools showing interest in the 6-foot-6 offensive lineman. Fries plans to visit Boston College Wednesday before getting ready for training camp at his high school.
“Having an offer from Army is really just an honor,” Fries said. “It’s personal for me because I’ve had grandparents in the Army and it means a lot to me.”