Jabulani Lovelace: A Real Team Player

<b>Jabu [Jabulani] Lovelace</b> made a lot of folks that traditionally wear Scarlet quite happy when he decided to pull the trigger on December 19th. But, Wednesday, February 2nd of 2005, is set apart for Jabu, and the rest of the incoming Rutgers class of 2005.  

On December 19th, 2005, Jabulani Lovelace (Tenafly HS, Tenafly, NJ) decided to put an end to his recruitment and join the State of Rutgers.

"Coach Schiano has built a great foundation.  The foundation is already in place, with all the facilities and the bubble, it's all there. Everything is in place," said the future Rutgers QB after his commitment.

Lovelace has been to Rutgers, unofficially, since he decided to continue his schooling and football playing career at Rutgers.  He has become an integral part of this year's recruiting efforts and keeps in touch with the Rutgers staff on a regular basis. 

Readers of Rutgers.Scout.com already know of the significant impact Lovelace had on Kevin Haslam, the lineman who decided to pledge to his state school this past weekend.

"Yeah, I gave him a call.  I knew he was on the ropes and I just told him what I went through.  I told him I was not going to go to Rutgers but I just decided to check it out."

Haslam must have been receptive, considering he was talking to a prospect that had gone through a very similar process as he had.

"No, he wasn't (receptive) [laughing].  The whole conversation he was like 'yeah', 'maybe', not really saying much of anything.  I figured he was just really quiet.  But then at the end he did tell me that he was really appreciative of our talk."

"So did we get him?," asked Lovelace.

When the response came back positively, Lovelace erupted: "You know I'm always looking for a big lineman.  I didn't think I would have such an impact.  That's great."

Letter of Intent Day is a special day for many seniors.  While it is not the end of high school, it is the end of a journey and the beginning of a new one.  It is a day of rejoicing for many families, of celebration, and of preparation for the next, grander step.

The Bergen County - American Conference, which Tenafly HS is a member of,  is not the biggest and certainly not the flashiest of conferences.  A day like the one that Lovelace is about to enjoy, is one that is savored and written in school lore.

"At school we're going to have a kind of formal announcement.  The town's mayor is going to be there, the superintendent, the school principal, they will all be there.  A lot of my senior class will be there, it's a special day for them too."  Lovelace will don the Rutgers hat and formally announce his intention to attend Rutgers.  The banquet, set for 2:00 PM, will be the location of his Letter of Intent signing, which will be sealed and delivered shortly thereafter.

Without a doubt the ceremonies are all about Lovelace, but, in many cases, it is the family in the background that will be reveling.  Does mom and dad have anything special planned, after the public ceremonies?

"My mom was saying something about that, maybe go out get something to eat, but I don't really know.  As a matter of fact, I'm not sure I'll be able to anyway.  I've got to go train at six [PM]."

And that, in a nutshell, is the type of player that Lovelace is.  The time for celebration has passed.  It is now time to get back to work.


Matei: mgeorge@rutgersfootball.com
Mike and the Big Dog LLC

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