Initially shocked by a phone conversation and verbal scholarship offer from Rutgers assistant coach Vince Okruch, Cheshire (Conn.) Academy offensive lineman Samuel Vretman spoke enthusiastically after he digested the news.
Rutgers verbally offered Vretman, who visited Saturday for Junior Day, and sits high on the 6-foot-6, 295-pounder’s list because of it.
“I really love the whole new coaching staff, everybody, they’re all cool, all friendly,” Vretman said. “Mostly I really like how [head coach Chris] Ash wants to build a new era. He talked about how New Jersey was a big recruiting area. He wanted to make Rutgers the university where everybody would go.”
Vretman is an international high school student. Born and raised in Sweden, he attends Cheshire Academy and returns home for breaks whenever possible. With multiple football offers already, Vretman plans to attend an American university and easy travel to and from Sweden will play a role in his final decision.
“My family supports me and they want me to choose whatever school I feel like [choosing], but at the same time, I kind of want to stay a little bit closer to home,” he said. “I want it to be easier to go home or for my family to come visit me.”
The Ash “life after football” presentation hit home with Vretman.
“It’s very important,” Vretman said. “The shot of making it to the NFL is very slim. Even though it’s my goal, obviously, you have to be realistic. I’m trying to be the best that I can be but if that doesn’t cut it, then I’m going to have a great education and a really good life because of it. With [Ash] saying that, … that really caught my attention as well.”
Rutgers has offers out to four Cheshire Academy 2017 prospects.
“We have a lot of kids that are really good,” Vretman said. “Not just my class but the kids in the class of 2018 and kids coming up, they have the potential to be very good.”
Vretman visits Syracuse in two weeks and expects to be at both Connecticut and again at Rutgers in March. He has no immediate timetable for a decision.
“I’m going to the right university when it comes to me feeling like it’s a home for me,” Vretman said. “I have the right type of education. I want to have a good relationship with all of the coaches, especially the offensive line coach. I really like coach [AJ] Blazek at Rutgers for that. He could be a mentor for me, which is something I like.”