While other Montclair football players prepare for National Signing Day, class of 2017 interior lineman Owen Drexel received some good news of his own Sunday afternoon from head coach John Fiore.
Rutgers represents the first verbal scholarship offer for Drexel, who is a 6-foot-4, 280-pound projected center.
"Well I know [defensive tackle] Julian Pinnix-Odrick and he's just a beast of a human being," Drexel said. "Some of my friends have offers from there too. What do they say now? Fence off the Garden State? ... It's a great feeling and it's a lot of stress off of my parents because they're already sending my sister to college. It's a lot of stress off."
Rutgers coach Chris Ash visited Montclair last week. He spoke multiple times with Montclair's Fiore since he accepted the Big Ten coaching position in December.
"He came into our school last week and he was pretty interested in me," Drexel said. "My coach said that the interest really picked up this week and he told him this morning. My coach announced it during our end of the year banquet."
Drexel is familiar with Rutgers from past visits. He will be back on campus in February for a junior day visit.
"Chris Ash is really the only one I've talked to yet but after Signing Day I get to meet everybody," Drexel said. "I went to a couple of games this year and the atmosphere as been crazy since they went to the Big Ten. Julian is basically a captain as a junior, so that's pretty cool."
Penn State also visited Montclair this week and Drexel is in touch with Temple, Pittsburgh and Virginia heading into spring evaluation.
"It's all about education for me," said Drexel, who is interested in business and economics. "That's what my dad and I discussed. Whatever is the best school for me, whatever feels like the best fit overall. ... Coach Fiore has always been helpful. He's a great coach. He can get a little crazy some times, but he's always there."