New Jersey is a special place to West Orange (N.J.) Seton Hall Prep 2017 linebacker Paul Theobald, so an elite in-state offer Thursday made a mark.
Theobald visited Rutgers, and left campus with his second verbal scholarship offer.
“I’m honestly still very excited about it,” he said. “Just to see the campus and the facilities and talk with all of the coaches, it felt really great to get it.”
“ … [I think about] almost representing my home state and being there in the Big Ten playing for my home state and not playing against my home state.”
Head coach Chris Ash delivered the news in person during a visit from the 6-foot-2, 211-pounder.
“Coach Ash was explaining the situation he was in coming in and he was changing a lot of stuff and he was trying to get more of the student part of student athlete,” Theobald said. “He’s changing a lot from previous years. He’s looking for kids that are responsible and kids that are determined to get better and fight for each other.”
Defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Jay Niemann connected with Theobald. He likes the Seton Hall Prep junior most as a middle or strong-side linebacker within the new Rutgers scheme.
“I loved him,” Theobald said. “I loved the way that he presents itself and the way he talks about the game. He knows a lot and knows a lot about the players. He seems like a great guy I could talk to even 10, 20 years after I’m gone. It seems like he’d be a great guy to have like another father figure.”
Boston College was the first offer for Theobald, who hopes to decide before the start of his senior season. Theobald cited environment and academics as deciding factors with interest in a physical therapy or sport science education.
“The biggest factor would be the whole environment around football and the whole college life within the school too,” he said. “The brotherhood within the coaches and players, that’s important. I would say that’s my biggest factor that would play a role.”