By the time workouts and classes resume Tuesday for the Scarlet Knights, tight end Anthony Folkerts will be 959 miles from his former home.
The three-star class of 2015 commitment moves from Valdosta (Ga.) Valwood School to Rutgers University as one of five new May enrollments for the Scarlet Knights.
Folkerts has family down the Jersey Shore, but summer schools means individual development time.
“I’m kind of ready for a change,” said Folkerts, who camped at Rutgers last year as a 6-foot-4, 215-pound tight end. “It’s time to experience a new lifestyle. I’m ready for college and the next step of my life. I’m super excited to get up there, but I’m not wasting my time now.”
Folkerts faces stiff competition at his position group when he arrives.
“I’m a guy that likes to compete, and this is the next step up,” Folkerts said. “Everyone is better. This is an elite level. I’m excited about living on my own, and becoming an adult.”
Folkerts speaks most often with freshman tight end Logan Lister, who joined the program from Texas 18 months ago.
“Logan’s been a role model to me,” Folkerts said. “He gives me advice all of the time. I talk to coach [Anthony] Campanile and coach [Phil] Galiano as well. I check in with Nakia Griffin and Mike [Dare] as well to see what they’re up to. It’s been good so far.”
Folkerts signed with Rutgers expecting to play for Campanile, but head coach Kyle Flood shook up the offensive staff after Ralph Friedgen’s offensive coordinator resignation. Folkerts now has Galiano as his position coach.
“I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all,” he said. “That kind of thing happens in college football. Coaching changes happen, and it wasn’t a problem at all.”
Folkerts is ready for his first meeting on Tuesday after he initially planned on a June enrollment. Back for the first time since his official visit, he looks forward to his first meeting with Flood as a member of the roster.
“He was one of the main reasons why I chose Rutgers,” Folkerts said. “He’s surrounded himself with great guys and he’s building a program. It’s something I wanted to join.”