Rutgers finds itself consistently in need of ready-to-play defensive backs, and Alexandria (Va.) Episcopal cornerback Patrice Rene fits the mold.
Rene committed to Rutgers during the summer before his senior year, and will be ready to play early if the Scarlet Knights ask him to do so.
“They’re getting a leader,” said Episcopal coach Panos Voulgaris. “He’s someone who is driven. He’s wonderful to coach, and he’s someone that works extremely hard. They’re getting the full package with Patrice.”
Rutgers recruited Rene as a cornerback, but the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder could play safety as well.
“I think he’s versatile and he can play in either spot,” Voulgaris said. “He knows how to body people up. He uses those long arms to create separation and reroute. He jams people up at the line [of scrimmage]. He highpoints the football, so he uses his length really well.”
Rene is well versed in both man and zone coverage, Voulgaris said.
Rutgers likes its cornerbacks physical at the line of scrimmage, and gives them important roles in the running game.
“He does both.,” Voulgaris said. “We’re putting him on the best receiver every game. If it’s a team with a balanced look at receiver he’ll play both man and zone. He’s very savvy technically, so we ask a lot of him.
“With those long arms, he gets through the receivers as blockers. It’s tough to block him. He’s very physical with them, and he can punish a running back on the edge when he gets the chance.”
Rene, who moved from Canada to the Northern Virginia area for football, is a future locker room leader, Voulgaris said.
“He’s a natural socially,” he said. “He’s a kid who communicates just as well with adults as he does with his peers. He’ll fit in great.”