Newark (N.J.) Weequahic cornerback Ihmir Marsette speaks often with Rutgers, and the message is a simple one.
“They want me there,” Marsette said. “That's what they say every time. They want me to come play there.”
Rutgers coach Chris Ash offered Marsette over the summer on the condition that he steps up his focus in the classroom. Marsette bought in with the message, he said, and reports a significant increase in his grade point average as a senior.
Marsette recently took his SATs and awaits the results.
“Education is first for me,” Marsette said. “I want to make sure that if football ends, I have a good school that keeps me educated and makes sure I'm good outside of football. Rutgers is hitting me up all of the time about that.”
With improved academics and an impressive start to his senior year, why no college decision for Marsette?
“I don't want to rush it,” Marsette said. “I'm just waiting for the right moment to sit down with my family and go over everything. It needs to be the right time.”
Temple and Illinois both showed interest in Marsette since the start of his senior season. Marsette is not focused on recruiting, he said.
“I'm just trying to be a leader for my team and put everybody behind me,” Marsette said. “I'm making plays as a team player. My role is to to lead the team. Our chemistry is there, and anybody that comes in our way, we just try to steamroll them.”
Marsette plays cornerback, receiver and returns kicks and punts for Weequahic. Rutgers wants the 6-foot-2, 160-pounder as a defensive back, he said.