Rutgers is not new to Justin Shorter, who has plenty of ties to the program after two seasons with Monmouth Junction (N.J.) South Brunswick.
Shortly after his junior day visit with coach Chris Ash, however, Shorter’s impressions changed fast.
Ash met Shorter and his parents at the door Saturday and a verbal scholarship offer was the first conversation point after a firm handshake.
“He was the first person to come up to me,” Shorter said. “We took a picture, he shook my hand and then he told me I had an offer. The rest of the day, I learned about how Rutgers is going to change. I saw with my own eyes how much it’s going to change. The coaching staff is focused.”
South Brunswick head coach Joe Goerge suggested the sophomore Shorter visit Rutgers for junior day on Saturday. South Brunswick’s connections with Rutgers are well documented and include former star receiver Mohamed Sanu, linebacker T.J. Taylor, walk-on Bryan Stonkus and class of 2016 addition Mohamed Jabbie.
Rutgers director of high school relations Rick Mantz preceded Goerge as South Brunswick’s head coach.
“The coaching staff is very different,” Shorter said on Ash’s program. “The last coaching staff didn’t show me too much love, no disrespect because they were great coaches, but I think it’s just a whole lot better fit now. I like coach Ash. I really like the new strength coach [Kenny Parker]. They’re changing the weight room and getting a lot of new facilities.”
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Shorter is a receiver target for Rutgers but his growth and development could land him at tight end, strong safety or outside linebacker.
Shorter does not have any other visits planned and will not rush a decision because of his proximity to Rutgers. Old Dominion was his first offer.
“We’re very excited about Rutgers but my parents just want me to keep humble and keep working hard and focusing on my school work,” Shorter said. “That’s the main thing when we come down to it.”
Shorter cited education as his first focus with an interest in computer sciences.