Flood Fires Back in Defense of NJ Football

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood fired back at derogatory comments about New Jersey football made by Washington State coach Mike Leach. When asked about Leach's comments, Flood responded, "It's an interesting comment based on our game." Rutgers beat Washington State 41-38 this season.

Washington State Mike Leach criticized New Jersey and New York football during his radio show last week, and Rutgers coach Kyle Flood was happy to speak out in defense when asked.

“It’s an interesting comment based on our game,” Flood said on Leach. “I don’t have a response. Mike [Leach] is entitled to whatever opinion he wants. If you look at the success of our program, eight bowl games in nine years with a lot of New Jersey football players helping us and a few others playing around the country that had pretty good success, I don’t know that there’s a lot of people out there of the opinion that New Jersey high school football isn’t some of the best in the country.”

Rutgers beat Washington State 41-38 in its opener played at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

On his weekly radio spot, Leach stated “One year we went to New York and New Jersey,” Leach said. “Basically, New Jersey has good players, but bad football. They got a lot of people and some of them can play, but overall, my opinion, they start the season late and end it early.

“Statistically, they send a lot of players to the NFL. They tend to have smaller schools population wise. There’s a bunch of teams I could play on.”

There’s guys out there who are great players (in high school) and turn out to be good ones, but based on competition, you won’t get a feel for it. I didn’t think I could evaluate New Jersey. Some of it was just experience with the leagues there. If you have a feel for quality, you can make a better judgment.”

Rutgers host Washington State in a rematch Sept. 12, 2015 at High Point Solutions Stadium.

Scout.com’s No. 1 overall player in 2016 (defensive tackle Rashan Gary) and No. 3 overall player in 2014 (Jabrill Peppers) come from New Jersey.

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