All recruits hear about position battles and early playing time. Few schools pushed the opportunity as strongly as Rutgers in the class of 2017.
Year two of a rebuild means plenty of opportunities for the class. Three-star Staten Island (N.Y.) Tottenville athlete Tim Barrow left his official visit last week with one feeling – he needs to be ready.
“They tell this class all the time and they stay on me about it so much,” Barrow said. “They just tell us to make sure we're there because we're all going into the fire. They're going to give us an opportunity to be thrown right in there. They tell us to be ready to compete and to prepare your mind.”
Bill Busch reinforced the message Tuesday night with a phone call to Barrow.
“He's a great guy,” Barrow said on his defensive backs coach. “It's good to see him every time I go down to Rutgers. He's basically a mentor and he just finished telling me I have to be ready in eight months when we play Washington. They'll end up being No 2 [in the country], and I have to get my body right and just be ready. With this class, they're throwing everybody in the fire and we're all ready.”
The ready-check began Friday when Barrow arrived for his official visit.
“My visit went really well,” Barrow said. “I had a great time. I felt like I connected with a lot of recruits but also the players. My host was Isaiah Wharton and one thing I liked about the visit was that, even though Isaiah was my host, I got to hang around a lot of different players and get to know my future teammates.”
Barrow connected with coach Chris Ash, specifically during the Sunday trip to his home.
“Coach Ash relates to my old head coach,” Barrow said. “He has the similarities a little mid. My old coach, coach [Jim] Munson is all about business. We'd joke around but he's all about business and winning and preparing. It's making sure you grow as a young man. That's one of the reasons I committed. Coach Ash reminds me a lot of coach Munson not just football wise but how he can make me a better man.”
Barrow committed to Rutgers as an athlete.
Cornerback remains the most-likely role for Barrow but perhaps not without a fight.
“Coach Busch said they'll probably put me at corner, but after that he said to be prepared to play receiver. Also, coach [Aaron] Henry told me during my in-home that they're fighting for me.
“It feels good [to be wanted on offense and defense]. Coach [Jafar] Williams, the receivers coach, made a joke about how when I stood up and introduced myself, I said receiver first and corner second. At the end of the day, the head man makes the call. I'm prepared to play whatever when I get there.”