If Samuel Vretman went from a blank slate to a Big Ten commitment in less than two years of organized football, imagine what the next four years could bring at Rutgers.
Vretman committed to Rutgers and head coach Chris Ash with that thought in mind. The Swedish big man made strides in two yuears of American football, but sees his best days down the road in the Big Ten.
“I've been playing football in Sweden too but it doesn't really match up to the level of American high school sports that I experienced the last two years,” Vretman said. “I remember when I first started this, and now I'm here. It's definitely been amazing, and I can't wait to start at Rutgers.”
Vretman moved up his decision timeframe for family reasons and nothing compared to Rutgers.
“I promised myself that I would make a decision before the summer,” he said. “I want to spend my last summer in Sweden with my family and friends. No camps or college visits. Apart from that, I really felt like Rutgers was more than other schools. I visited Penn State, Syracuse, Boise State, Uconn, but Rutgers was the school that felt best for me.
“They wanted me a lot. They have great coaches and a great program. Why wouldn't I go to a program where I feel very comfortable?”
Special teams coordinator Vince Okruch sparked Vretman's interest with a visit to Cheshire (Conn.) Academy in the winter, and offensive line coach AJ Blazek fostered a strong relationship.
“Coach Okruch is a great coach and he was the first one to reach out to me,” Vretman said. “He's a great coach with a lot of experience. I like coach Blazek too. He doesn't always talk to me about football. They talk about life in general and what they want to do at Rutgers. That makes them unique.”
Vretman chose an American football path for academic reasons first. He sees a future in the Rutgers business school starting next year.
“They have a great business school,” he said. “I saw that when I got to visit. They have a lot of resources for the students, and I saw the connection with a lot of alumni [in] New York and Philadelphia.”
Vretman projects as an offensive tackle, where he wants to bring leadership and versatility to Ash's first class.
“I want to be a nasty guy to help running the ball,” Vretman said. “I want to run a physical offensive line that can also pass the ball. I think Rutgers can definitely do that. I'm ready.”