From 1986 to 1990, Eric Deering prowled the defensive backfield at both cornerback and free safety for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Over the last few years, he coached defensive backs at Englewood H. S., Hackensack H. S., Plainfield H. S. and developed eighteen Division IA and IAA defensive backs. Some of his more notable players were Johnnie Silvain (Top 100 prospect, now at Wisconsin), Leroy Brooks (UMass), Joey Dawkins (Top 100 prospect, Penn State), Ricardo Walker (Delaware, 2-time All Yankee Conference), Kyron Johnson (Temple), and Phillip Shepard (Temple). He is one of the best teachers and developers of high school defensive backs that I know of and I respect his opinion on high school talent.
Two days ago, he wrote his impressions of the Rutgers recruiting class and the program, in general, along with his evaluation of the two Middlesex county prospects - Jeremy Zuttah and Anthony Miller:
I'm really impressed with the job that Coach Schiano is doing as far as keeping some of the top NJ prospects home. Notice, I said "home". Although, they have commitments from 19 players, 12 of which are from NJ, only 5 of those recruits have a rating of 3 or better. Rutgers has to get to the point where if 12 players are from NJ, all must have a rating of 3 or better. And why not? Rutgers has come full circle.
The facilities are state of the art. They have all that you could want as far as majors are concerned, and the university is revered as one of the top schools in the country academically.
This is a plea to all those student-athletes that are going to graduate in the year 2005. Please, I urge you not to shut your doors to what Coach Schiano and his staff are doing. This is a program on a rapid incline.
In order to win on a consistent basis, you must have the "horses". Here in NJ, we have the "horses", but our 3-star or better football players leave the state.
We need you to stay home and take pride in your state.
I take my hat off to Commits: Beljour(Hackensack), Lewis(Paterson Catholic),Teel(Don Bosco Prep),and Jones(Toms River). More highly touted players in this state need to take a stand. Williams (Plainfield), Ray Garvin (Don Bosco), Monroe (Plainfield), Green (Deptford), Lamagdelaine (Rumson), Pierre (Hackensack), Oquendo (Hackensack), Smart(Hackensack), and Gamble take a good long look at RU.
J.P. Stevens High School in Edison hosts 2 of the 19 commits: Jeremy Zuttah, a 6'4" offensive lineman, and Anthony Miller, a 6'0 wide receiver/defensive back.
Zuttah is the most highly touted of the two. He is an impressive lineman. He has good feet and is very athletic for a big man. He weighs in the neighborhood of about 290 pounds; although he could probably carry another 20 pounds easily. He is a bulldozer when it comes to run blocking. He may need work with his pass protection, but that will take no time. He is a gem of a player.
Anthony Miller, Zuttah's teammate and friend, was one of Rutgers' first commits. He has exceptional speed and will probably get even faster. Once Miller hits the weights, he will be able to assist in a number of ways. He can play wideout or DB. He could probably play earlier than expected if he chooses the defensive side of the ball. Miller has speed and athleticism.
Mike and the Big Dog LLC