Instead of a traditional non-answer when the inevitable freshman question came for Rutgers coach Chris Ash, he singled out four newcomers for special summers with the program.
Ash has his first recruiting class enrolled and set for next week's start to training camp. Four newcomers stood out above the rest in the words of Ash.
“There are some guys that have stood out; some of the offensive linemen have looked pretty good,” Ash said. "Nick Krimin has worked his tail off in the couple months he’s been there; Dacoven Bailey at wide receiver has done a great job. Tylin Oden's done a great job. Ross Douglas, a grad transfer, has done a great job. So I’m pleased with a lot of those guys. We’ve got a long way to go with some of them, but the early evaluations on some of them have been positive.”
Krimin represented the first New Jersey commitment to Kyle Flood's original 2016 recruiting class. He never seriously considered other schools after the coaching change, despite a late offer from Miami.
Bailey and Oden were among the late finds for the Rutgers staff with a new offense in mind.
Defensive backs coach Bill Busch found Bailey through contacts in Texas while Oden emerged as the top quarterback target after Anthony Russo's de-commitment.
“I’m pleased with the majority of the freshmen that have come in,” Ash said. “It really speaks to the leadership that we’ve created on this team; they’ve taken these guys in. They’ve welcomed them with open arms to our team, our family and led them for the couple of months that they’ve been there. They’ve taught them the standards and the expectations that we have and how they need to work to be successful here and that part has gone exceptionally well.”
Douglas joined the program as a graduate transfer from Michigan.
“Ross is a guy that I knew in the recruiting process way back when I was at Wisconsin, I recruited him to Wisconsin, so we have a relationship,” Ash said. “And when he made the decision to leave, we reached out, went through the proper channels to see if he could come and be a part of what we’re doing here.”
Douglas joined the Rutgers defensive secondary shortly before junior college transfer Kobe Marfo pounced on a late scholarship offer from Rutgers and enrolled in May.
“Kobe’s done a great job so far, too,” Ash said. “What he’s done is create competition in the defensive backfield. I like the early evaluation of him of the composite and he’s working his butt off.”