Signing Day Rewind: Offensive Line

Scarlet Report goes position-by-position to break down what Rutgers got in its 2015 recruiting class, and what it needs to accomplish in the next recruiting year. We continue with the offensive line, where Rutgers already has a strong head start in 2016 to go along with a quartet of 2015 big men.

In 2015 -- Rutgers coach Kyle Flood signed Jack Shutack, Zach Venesky, Jonah Jackson and Manny Taylor in his 2015 recruiting class at the offensive line spot. He also inked defensive lineman Kamaal Seymour, who has potential at tackle. Venesky enters college with the highest expectations, and Shutack comes to Rutgers after an interesting January recruitment. The Chicago big man picked Rutgers over a preferred walk-on offer from Tennessee in the final week before Signing Day.

Expectations -- Player by player, Venesky brings the highest expectations with the chance to compete for playing time at guard or center very early. Venesky is Scout’s highest-rated Rutgers lineman in the class. Shutack and Jackson both have upside as multi-year starters, but will need more time than Venesky in the Big Ten transition. Shutack projects as the most ready tackle of the class, with Jackson starting off as a guard in the Rutgers system. Taylor’s story is a familiar one for Rutgers fans, and his inexperience as a football player means multiple years of patience and development before he is expected to see the field.

In 2016 -- Two spots are gone and only one or two remain in the 2016 class after early commitments from Glen Mills (Pa.) Garnet Valley’s Ted Field and Metuchen (N.J.) St. Joseph’s Nick Krimin. Rutgers has some other big names in the mix, and needs at least one with targets like Jordan Johnson, Will Fries, Liam Smith and Ulises De Los Santos.

Needs Addressed? -- Almost. Rutgers could have used more ready-to-go acts in the class, but general depth improves with the 2015 recruiting class. Rutgers added a ton of bodies in its last two recruiting classes but few appear ready to step in for early playing time. As Flood moves forward into the Big Ten, size in the trenches is key, including names like Taylor, Krimin, Field and Shutack, who will all play above 300 pounds at the college level.


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