WHAT IS THERE TO LIKE? First off, Ross Taylor-Douglas is a high character person and that certainly played a big part in Chris Ash deciding to pursue him. But Ash also tried very hard to recruit Taylor-Douglas to Wisconsin three ago, but the player instead chose to sign with Michigan. I believe Ash will use Taylor-Douglas at cornerback, and he fits the man-to-man style Rutgers will look to employ. There's no way a new coach brings in a player with only two years of eligibility unless he feels he is going to be a starter, so Ash is looking for Taylor-Douglas to contribute right off the bat. If he can return to his defensive back skill set, Taylor-Douglas will be an important piece for Rutgers in 2016.
WHAT ARE THE CONCERNS? Taylor-Douglas has not played cornerback for two years, as he was moved to wide receiver and runningback each of the past two seasons. Can he recover his skills on an island at defensive back? Will he be able to hold up against the run and be a willing tackler? Fall camp will give Ash those answers. Taylor-Douglas was oroginally committed to Penn State as a high school senior, and the Nittany Lions saw him as a cornerback. Brady Hoke could never settle on a position for Taylor-Douglas at Michigan, and he played three positions in three years.
WHAT ARE THE INTANGIBLES? Ash is looking to change the culture at Rutgers, and bringing in a high character, older player, will help in that endeavor. Taylor-Douglas received a ringing endorsement from Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh about his play on the field and his conduct off the field, and he had the option of staying on the team. He was not forced to transfer. Taylor-Douglas wants to be a college coach in the future, and this will give him a great opportunity to impress Ash with his leadership and intelligence. The hope is that Ross Taylor-Douglas will not only help Rutgers on the football field, but in the weight room, classroom and in the community.