What do top Rutgers prospects see from a 78-0 loss Saturday night against Michigan?
“I'm still feeling very good about Rutgers,” said Holmdel (N.J.) St. John Vianney four-star tackle Micah Clark. “I know what our recruiting class is. I know our strengths. A low of guys are graduating at the end of the year. That gives us a chance to grind in the offseason and get a chance to be able to play as freshmen.”
Clark, New Jersey's top prospect in 2017, sat at midfield for the entire loss to Michigan. He and brother, Jamaal Beaty, both met with coach Chris Ash after the loss.
“We know how this season is going to go and we know it's not going to come easy like everyone thinks,” Clark said. “We know what the outcome of the season could be. We just have a positive mind about the future. We're ready to build a program.”
The final score was the worst loss since 1888, but effort was not the issue in the eyes of the recruits.
“I believe that's a sign of good coaching,” Clark said. “Players that stuck out to me Dorian [Miller] and Derrick [Nelson] with their effort. I look up to them on the offensive line.”
Clark most looks forward to protecting his future quarterback Johnathan Lewis, who also visited for the Michigan game.
“Especially with Johnathan I'm excited,” Clark said. “I know from other people at DePaul that played against Johnathan. Our team, we don't play St. Peter's but they tell me Johnathan is a hard quarterback to tackle. You can tell that he's abnormally big for a quarterback. I trust him even though I haven't played with him yet.”
The respect goes both ways for Lewis and Clark.
“I'm really looking forward to playing with him,” Lewis said. “I have a good tackle now and I'll have a good one in college. … What [Rutgers] is lacking, we can fill it. Me, Bo Melton, Everett [Wormley], Jamaal, Micah, Shameen Jones, we can fill that need.
“They're going to be extreme weapons. Give Bo the ball anywhere and he'll make a play. Things like that.”
Lewis met with Ash and other coaches after the loss. He plans to remain as vocal as possible in support of the transition.
“It's a new coaching staff but it's the same team from last year, so it probably wasn't going to be that much of a difference from last year's team,” Lewis said. “They just need more players, more play-makers and it will happen for them.”
Lewis runs a similar offense at Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep. He expects to battle Tylin Oden for early playing time.
“They don't have a true dual threat except for Tylin but he's still a little too skinny,” Lewis said. “It's going to be hard for him. He didn't do it in high school so it's harder for him to adjust with it, he told me. The rest of the quarterbacks are all used to pro style except for Zach Allen but it wasn't working all against Michigan.”
Rutgers commits remain aggressive in recruiting Markquese Bell, who officially visited this weekend. Read Bell's exclusive breakdown inside.