Jon Lovett, the No. 2 running back in New Jersey, was close to committing to his top choice a few times, but a conversation with another standout from South Jersey put it all in perspective.
Lovett already received the hard sell from the Rutgers staff, but it was fellow South Jersey standout Bo Melton who provided the closing statement.
“He was telling me how he wanted me to go there and ball-out with him, and put together a team so we can take it all the way,” said Lovett, who announced his commitment to Rutgers moments ago.
Lovett’s other finalists were Maryland, Virginia Tech, Temple and Boston College but the combination of playing at home, being able to join a plethora of South Jersey commits in the 2017 class and the way the coaching staff is selling a rebuilt Rutgers were all keys in his decision.
“I like what they’re doing with the program,” the 6-foot-1 190-pound Lovett said. “Everything they are doing with it, everyone that is going there, I like all of the coaching staff …it’s just home for me.
“Rutgers got all the best athletes from South Jersey.”
Lovett is heading to Rutgers as a running back, but he has traits to play safety (and possibly outside linebacker if he grows) if the Scarlet Knights decide to move him.
Lovett is smooth and quick with his feet. He changes direction well and his acceleration is an asset.
He said the way Rutgers recruited him, especially after a tremendous performance at the Tri-State Camp involving Rutgers, Ohio State and Temple, sold him on the Scarlet Knights.
“They’ve been there. They’ve been loyal,” he said. “They told me what plans they have for me. They told me every time they see me, it seems like I get a little bigger, faster and better. They said they definitely see improvement.”
With recruiting over, Lovett said he is relaxed and happy.
“It’s a lot of stress off of me now,” he said. “I can now focus on my team and help my team get the state championship this year and get ready for college next year.”