Football games are won and lost on the line of scrimmage. On Friday, Rutgers obtained a commitment from their third offensive linemen of the 2005 class with the commitment of Darnell Stapleton. On Friday morning, Rutgers officially offered the 6'3"-305lbs offensive linemen from Hudson Community College. After a few hours of considering the advantages of the Rutgers program, he committed to Coach Greg Schiano that night. Stapleton selected Rutgers over an offer from Buffalo and strong interest from Toledo, UConn, and Akron.
In early December, he took his only official visit to Buffalo. However, an unofficial visit to the Rutgers campus during the Christmas break was enough to convince him that Rutgers was for him. The facilities, academics, and the players were the three biggest factors. An added bonus was the opportunity for his family and friends to see him play along with the chance to assist his state university reach a bowl game. On January 28th, he will take his official visitm to the Rutgers campus.
Stapleton was recruited to play center. But he has the versatility to play other positions. During his career at Hudson Community College, he won a Northeast Football Conference title and played both tackle positions. His 5.2 forty and 575lbs squat shows that he has the explosiveness necessary to anchor the offensive line.
As far as eligibility, he will have three years to play two years.
In order for him to get a headstart on his Rutgers career, he will attempt to switch his junior college to one closer to the Rutgers campus. A likely possibility is Union County College.
Once he is officially on the Rutgers campus, he intends on majoring in sports management or business management. He would like to become a sports agent or enter another sports related field.
Note: Stapleton participated in the 2003 North-South All-Star game. He also has a brother Desmond, who stands 6'4" and weighs 280lbs. Since Desmond is only a sophomore, Rutgers could be visiting the Stapleton household again in a few years.
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