Columbia (Tenn.) Spring Hill quarterback Tylin Oden's readiness for Rutgers was never in question.
The three-star dual-threat quarterback, however, sits less than two weeks away from an official arrival.
Rutgers gave Oden a taste of his future April 23 at the spring game, and welcomes the 6-foot-5 passer with open arms at the end of May for the beginning of his Piscataway journey.
The taste came in a pregame ceremony at High Point Solutions Stadium. Before the team took the field for coach Chris Ash's first spring game when Oden stood at midfield for a welcome with a dozen future players.
“It was a start to a new beginning, if I must say,” Oden said. “It was just a feeling that this is home now. This is where I'll be for the next four or five years playing football and having fun. It was a groundbreaking feeling.”
Oden joins the team for workouts for the first summer session. He looks forward to informal 7-on-7 work with the team, but his early focus is on physical development.
“I'm trying to get bigger and eat well and put the right things in my body and making sure I stay in the routine of working out,” he said. “Then again, I'm not trying to overdo it. I'll let things happen naturally.
“...I think people are going to be really shocked. The last time I ran a 40 with the laser, it was the beginning of last summer, and I worked my tail off and worked on my speed. I think I'm one of the faster players. I'm just really ready to use it and use my speed. I've been working on my mechanics as far as throwing.”
Rutgers showed off its high-octane offense for the first time in the spring game.
Oden heard plenty from offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer about his plans in theory. The spring game was the first time theory went into action.
Oden sees a fit.
“It's a fast-paced offense, and it's so many outcomes to one play,” Oden said. “It's not just a basic pro-style offense where the ball is going here and specifically there and everyone knows it's going there. In [Mehringer's] offense, there's many options that you can do with the football in just one play. It's one of those offenses where you can keep the defense guessing.”
Rutgers became a clear choice for Oden after his first meeting with Mehringer and coach Chris Ash. He officially visited campus already set on the school, but the focus quickly shifted from early playing time to lifestyle opportunities in the Northeast.
“Rutgers is one of the finest academic institutions in the country and having that degree from Rutgers, I can get a job anywhere I want to,” he said. “That area of the United States, there's so much opportunity for me there. I wanted to find somewhere I can play early. I can get on the field and compete and have a shot to play in the NFL a lot easier than others. It was the perfect offense for me.”