Richland (N.J.) St. Augustine Prep linebacker Jim Brady rarely sat on the bench as a defensive player of the year in Atlantic City.
Committing Sunday night to Rutgers as a preferred walk-on, his status in the 2016 recruiting class will not hold him back from playing time, Brady said.
“I’m expecting fans to see me on the field,” Brady said. “I want to play. I’m not going to Rutgers just to say I went to Rutgers and sit on the bench. I’m going to Rutgers to play Big Ten football.”
The Press Football Player of the Year in Atlantic City, Brady registered 116 tackles, 22 TFLs and 10 sacks during his senior year. The strong season garnered late attention from both Rutgers and Villanova before the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder picked the Scarlet Knights and coach Chris Ash.
“I just fell in love with everyone when I visited,” he said. “It was really nice to finally make this decision and get the weight lifted off of my shoulders and know where I’m going to play ball.”
Brady enrolls at Rutgers for summer workouts and training camp at Rutgers. Ash told him to expect the same treatment as any scholarship player when he arrives.
Rutgers seeks three new starters at linebacker, and Brady hopes to earn a role somewhere.
“It’s definitely a challenge but I feel like I can be a scholarship player for them,” Brady said. “You could say I might have been under-recruited but I feel like I’m able to play anywhere. My skillset is definitely going to be stopping the run. That’s one thing I that I excelled at in high school.”
Brady followed Rutgers before he began his career with St. Augustine Prep. He has friends from home already enrolled as students, including Kevin Baxter of the Rutgers baseball team.
“I’ve been a Rutgers fan for a long time,” Brady said. “I always dreamed of playing for them on Saturday nights and now that dream is a reality because I expect to earn playing time. Coach Ash said that he looks at some of his preferred walk-ons as guys that can be scholarship players for him.”null