Regardless of record or other schools involved, Washington (D.C.) St. John's defensive end Tyree Johnson left Rutgers with a great feeling about the changes in Piscataway.
The top defensive end in the nation's capital is well aware of the 2-10 season under coach Chris Ash, but said his interest stretches far beyond one year of football.
“I can say that Rutgers is one of my top schools,” Johnson said. “They're very high on the list. I'm considering them very seriously because it's not just about football with them. It's about life after football as well.”
Life after football was the consistent theme from Rutgers in its pitch to the Texas A&M verbal commit.
“I'm looking for what opportunities [schools] present to me for my life,” said Johnson, who is interested in communications and sports management. “What kind of connections do they have? What do they do for me other than football? Can they help me get a job? What if I get injured? Would they pay for my school? If I leave early, would I be able to come back? I liked the opportunities Rutgers has there. I like the coaching staff. I would have a chance to start early.”
Ash's personality stood out to Johnson in his return to campus.
“Coach Ash is a great person,” he said. “He's one of those people that when he walks in the room, everybody gets quiet and all eyes are on him. The man is a great person that wants what's best for his kids.”
“Ron'Dell said he loves it now,” Johnson said. “With the new coaches, he said it's not like it used to be. Now everybody is about the team first, and they just go in to work hard.”
Johnson officially visits Maryland next week with visit scheduled for Jan. 20 to Texas A&M, he said.