WHAT IS THERE TO LIKE? There's no doubting that football is won in the trenches, and Brendan Bordner will give Rutgers a physical defensive end. Bordner has the length and quickness to be a disruptive pass rusher off the edge, but also be able to hold his ground and defend the run. Bordner has a toughness that Scarlet Knight head coach Chris Ash desperately needs on the defensive side of the football. Enrolling in January, Bordner will be able to go through the winter conditioning program, and also participate in spring football, which gives him every opportunity to be a contributor as a true freshman next fall.
WHAT ARE THE CONCERNS? Like most true freshmen, Bordner needs to add weight and strength to be able to contribute next season against teams like Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State. He has the frame to add serious weight, and you can't coach his height and length.
WHAT IS THE RECRUITING IMPACT? Both Navy and West Virginia were real threats, especially the Mountaineers. Chris Ash and his assistants had to work to land Bordner, and West Virginia was considered a strong favorite a few months ago. But Ash would not be denied, and this is a significant recruiting victory for the Scarlet Knights. Look for Rutgers to be even more of a player in the state of Ohio for the class of 2018, leaning on the excellent reputation Ash has among the state's high school coaches.
WHAT ARE THE INTANGIBLES? Bordner is obviously a talented football player, or he wouldn't have attracted over 30 offers. But just as important, this is the type of player you build a program around. Bordner's coaches rave about his work ethic and leadership qualities, and both are needed at Rutgers. Navy was a real player here, and Bordner would have fit in perfectly academically and from a toughness standpoint. For Rutgers to make a move in the Big Ten, not only does the talent need upgraded but Ash needs more of his types of players. Brendan Bordner should fit in perfectly.