Rutgers made it clear to C.J. Onyechi Saturday that he was a top target in the 2017 recruiting class. For the West Orange (N.J.) outside linebacker, Onyechi feels the same after his latest visit to campus.
Onyechi sees himself as “a few months” away from a decision but Rutgers sits in the driver’s seat.
“Rutgers is definitely at the top right now against all the other schools,” Onyechi said. “They seem to actually want me at the school and take a liking to me. They have such a great facility and everything.”
After Onyechi’s brother played far from home, a close proximity to West Orange is important to the family.
“That’s a better part about Rutgers is it’s closer to home,” he said. “That was always my mother’s main concern but hopefully in a couple of months or so, I’ll know my final decision.”
Onyechi’s Rutgers visit including pre-practice meetings with the linebackers and defensive coordinator Jay Niemann. He also spoke with head coach Chris Ash in-depth alongside his mother and older brother.
“I learned a lot about what their linebackers do in the defense,” he said. “I got to see what they go through and how they have a unique practice style with breaking it up into 20 periods and how each period was something different. They ran drills I wasn’t aware of. … They like me most at SAM linebacker, so I saw them practice and I learned a lot about what they have to do in coverage.”
Ash and Niemann both have good relationships with the North Jersey talent.
“I’ve been talking to coach Niemann for a while and I’m very fond of him,” Onyechi said. “He’s a great coach and seeing him again was great. When he coaches, he teaches. When he coaches drills, you can understand him. He speaks clearly and with intelligence. He’s just someone that you would want as your coach.”
Onyechi will be back at Rutgers for its spring game and plans to see spring practices at Temple, Pittsburgh and Penn State.