Cheshire (Conn.) Academy offensive lineman Samuel Vretman moved to the United States to pursue a football dream.
Still new to the game, Vretman made one dream come true Monday morning with a verbal commitment to Rutgers.
“I'm ecstatic for him,” said Cheshire Academy head coach David Dykeman. “I recruited him a year ago, and we sat down and talked about his dreams and now they're coming true. He's a great student in the classroom and a hard worker. It's a good story.”
The Swedish big man ranks as Connecticut's top offensive tackle, and he joins Micah Clark and Jamaal Beaty on the Rutgers 2017 offensive line class.
“He's a tremendous young man,” Dykeman said. “He's played football only for two years, so he has a huge upside. He's a prototypical Big Ten lineman. He's loved Rutgers since the minute he went down there.”
Without proximity to home as a factor for Vretman – his parents are a flight away regardless – relationships and opportunity made Rutgers the right fit, Dykeman said.
“I just think he felt comfortable there,” Dykeman said. “He loved [assistant coach Vince] Okruch. He did a great job recruiting him. He was impressed with their staff when he went down there and [offensive line coach AJ] Blazek. They developed a great relationship.”
Vretman's best days of football are in front of him as someone still new to the game.
The 6-foot-6, 295-pounder gets development as both a run-blocker and pass-blocker in the balanced Cheshire Academy offense.
“Every day I see him grow,” Dykeman said. “Watching him play from game one to game eight and seeing his understanding of the game of football improve, he's really committed in the weight room. Flexibility is big for him. He's always been strong and he's continuing to improve his flexibility. … Like any, he needs to be flexible. They look at how much they can squat and the rest of us get obsessed with how much they can bend.”
Rutgers coach Chris Ash made Cheshire Academy a priority after he took the job, and Vretman becomes an impressive addition because of it.
“They've done a great job since they took over,” Dykeman said. “Don't get me wrong, I had a great relationship with the former staff too, but coach Okruch is really committed. He made us feel like we're a priority. They've done a great hob with our kids. They all have a high level of respect for Rutgers.”