In-Home with New Rutgers ST Coach Reassures PK Commit Alex Barbir

Cumming (Ga.) South Forsyth kicker Alex Barbir put his reporter hat on Wednesday night when he announced a successful in-home visit with new Rutgers special teams coordinator Vince Okruch. Scarlet Report spoke with Barbir about Chris Ash's first coaching hire and an upcoming official visit.

Just like Chris Ash made his first in-home visit with Rutgers count, newly-hired special teams coordinator Vince Okruch did the same this week.

The day before Okruch's formal announcement, he flew to Georgia for a face-to-face meeting with kicker commit Alex Barbir

"Getting to meet him really made me feel a lot better," Barbir said. "Having your coaches all fired at the school where you're committed can be kind of unsettling. Getting to meet him really did clear up some things. It was reassuring because I liked [former special teams coordinator Phil Galiano] a lot. He was the first coach to believe in me. Him being fired kind of got me down but being able to meet the new coach made me feel that they're going to put us on the right track."

Barbir and Okruch enjoyed a 1-on-1 conversation late Wednesday before the later formally took over as special teams coordinator.

"He knew what he was doing," Barbir said. "He's been in the business for 35 years. He's been all over with national championships and bowl games. He's had his part in the business. From talking to him, he's very educated and he's someone that can lead me to the next level. ... He put me as a priority and that means a lot to me. There are a lot of schools that recruit kickers and can just move on to the next one. They don't care anymore than filling a spot on their team. This coach, he made me a priority. He flew down here before the paperwork was even set yet. It really meant a lot to me."

Okruch continued his work on the road Thursday, including stops to see quarterback commit Anthony Russo and cornerback commit Patrice Rene.

"I think he will be a good recruiter," Barbir said. "It's not like he'll just tell me how to kick a ball and that's it. Originally, he wasn't even doing special teams. He was originally a defensive coach and defensive coordinator. He's very knowledgeable about defenses and that's a big thing for him in terms of recruiting."

Barbir was one of the first Rutgers 2016 classmembers that spoke with Ash after the official Monday announcement.

"He knows what to do and how to do it and where to go," Barbir said. "He has goals set in place and knows that he will bring in the right staff to make sure that it gets done. They're not going to be satisfied with the NCAA's standard of a winning season. Win six, seven games and it's a winning season. [Ash] wants 10. They want double-digits."

Barbir remains hard at work in training and set up a Jan. 15 official visit to Rutgers. While in New Jersey, Barbir also looks forward to training from One on One Kicking coach Luke Gaddis.

"Being able to meet the new head coach is going to make me a lot more comfortable with the situation," Barbir said. "Talking on the phone with him was great but getting to meet him is big for me. Also being able to see the other commits would be great. ... Being able to kick with coach Gaddis at his house, that's going to be a lot of fun. It's good for me, and I'll be there a lot."


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