It was around lunch time when Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep senior Michael Maietti’s college plans changed drastically.
Maietti was a cormer Air Force commit looking at New Hampshire after his state championship senior season with the Ironmen. That was until he received an offer from Rutgers.
It was one he couldn’t refuse.
“I found out when I was talking with my coach [Mike] Teel and Rutgers offered me and I knew one thing about that offer. I had to call my mom and my dad to tell them about the offer because that’s where I want to go to school next year. I knew right away,” Maietti said.
Maietti announced his flip to Rutgers on social media the night before National Signing Day. The 6-foot-2, 275-pound offensive lineman plans to sign tomorrow with the Scarlet Knights.
Maietti eagerly awaits his opportunity in Piscataway, where Don Bosco greats like Teel, Darius Hamilton and Leonte Carroo starred.
“I loved Rutgers growing up in New Jersey,” he said. “Being able to do this is really an honor. I know how much of a brotherhood Don Bosco is and I’m excited to be a part of their path to Rutgers and play for New Jersey.”
The Scarlet Knights add a state champion in Maietti, who joins Mike Lonsdorf, Nick Krimin and Sam Howson on the 2016 offensive line.
“I feel like the program that I came from sets me up,” he said. “The work ethic that coach [Greg] Toal instilled in us really sets me up to bring what I learned to the table and win for Rutgers.”
Teel coached Don Bosco as Toal’s offensive coordinator for the 2015 run to a championship. The former Rutgers and Seattle Seahawks quarterback returned to his high school home after time as a graduate assistant with the Scarlet Knights.
“He’s as smart of a football player as I’ve been around in a long time,” Teel said. “When I came in June, we changed the offense and we had some growing pains early on. If it weren’t for him, we would have really struggled. He was the one who got us the right looks in both the run and pass game. When you talk about having an extra coach on the field, he was that for us this year.”
Anyone with size concerns regarding Maietti should look the other way, Teel said.
“It’s not like he’s a little guy,” he said. “Look at Ohio State’s center last year when they won a national championship. Look how tall he was. He was probably about 6-foot. Mike is now about what Ryan [Blaszczyk] was when I played with him. Mike’s going to be able to carry 295 pounds. He’s going to grow into a really good-looking kid.”
Maietti chose Rutgers over offers that included Air Force, Army, Maine and Delaware.
“I’m excited for Mike and I’m excited as an alumni to have a kid going down there that knows what hard work is and what it is to be confident and care about the game and do things the right way,” Teel said. “At the end of the day, I’m just really happy for Mike. He deserves an opportunity to show he can do this. He’s got a chip on his shoulder because he wasn’t heavily recruited and he’s going to find a way to get it done.”