In the first part of this two-part series we took a quick jaunt to gauge an idea of where Rutgers' scholarship offers have gone. In all, as of last week, a total of 21 offers had been sent out for the offensive side of the ball. The position breakdown went as follows:
QBs: 3 RBs: 4 WRs: 7 OL: 5 TE: 2 Total: 21
Since Greg Schiano's arrival to Rutgers four years ago, one of the staples of his recruiting efforts has been toward the establishment of a genuine defensive line that can fill gaps and keep the ball in front of them. Considering the offer list thus far, keeping in mind that we have yet to reach camping season and the evaluation period has yet to begin whereby it remains quite early, the Rutgers staff seems to have one thing in mind: defensive line.
By far, the most significant target by Rutgers has been the rush end and tackle position on the defensive side of the ball. With the graduation of David Harley and Gary Gibson, and the disappointing ending to the career of Rutgers most stellar High School signee, the early attention to the defensive line shouldn't be too much of a surprise.
Rutgers' most sought-after in-state prospect hails from Queen of Peace HS in North Arlington, NJ. Gee, a junior year transfer from Don Bosco Prep to Queen of Peace HS received his first scholarship offer from Rutgers. Gee, whose body development already reminds one of former Rutgers standout Raheem Orr is being recruited nationally and has already received over a half dozen written offers. Gee, like many other prospects have been quite candid about Rutgers' prospects of landing the top NJ seniors. Rutgers is "getting better each year on the field, but I'd like to see some more progress," stated Gee in an earlier interview with Scout.com.
Hailing from Neshaminy HS in Pennsylvania is defensive tackle prospect Tom McEowen. McEowen also received his first written offer from Rutgers. Much like Gee, McEowen is one of the top overall prospects in his state and has also been receiving much attention in the way of more written offers since his first. The imposing 6-foot-4 and 240 pounder has since added written offers from Maryland and his state school Penn State to those he had previously, and now holds over a half dozen scholarship offers.
Others: Jason Adjepong, Carteret HS, Carteret, NJ. McKenzie Mathews, Christian Brothers Academy, Suracuse, NY. Jeff Minemyer, Bishop Carroll HS, Ebensburg, PA. Johny Troutman, Pemberton HS, Pemberton Township, NJ. John Ferrara, Msgr HS, Farrell HS, Staten Island, NY. Jason Kates, Bishop McDevitt HS, Harrisburg, PA. Oren Wilson, Teaneck HS, Teaneck, NJ. Bruce Campbell [DE,OL], Hyde Leadership School, Hamden, CT.
Total Offers for position: 9
Aside from the disenchanting conclusion to the career of one of the top High School prospects to ever attend Rutgers, the team doesn't lose much from last year. However, the sometimes mediocre performances of players currently in the system do leave something to be desired.
Each of the last two years Rutgers has lost one of the state's top LBs to other schools during the closing weekend of the recruiting season. This year's elite crop of in-state linebackers is led by the 6-3, 225-pound inside linebacker prospect from Middletown South HS, Nick Macaluso. Macaluso garnered an early offer from Rutgers, quickly added written offers from Boston College and Michigan State and, much like many of the prospects Rutgers has offered early, is now being courted nationally. Macaluso is an intriguing prospect due to his combination of athletic ability, football talent and success in the classroom. Boasting a 4.48 GPA on a 4.5 scale Macaluso also has an older brother that plays football at Cornell, leaving one to think that the combination of solid football program and academics are an integral component in the young man's future decision on a collegiate destination.
Others: Alex Wujciak, Seton Hall Prep, West Orange, NJ. Blair Bines, William Floyd HS, Mastic Beach, NY. Ryan D'Imperio, Washington Township HS, Sewell, NJ, Antonio Lowery, Christopher Columbus HS, Miami FL.
Total Offers for position: 5
The ability to go deep on Rutgers was documented quite successfully and, much to the chagrin of Rutgers fans, quite often, last year. Indeed, Rutgers most surprising playmaker in the defensive backfield last year turned out to be a freshman, a diamond in the rough that received his only D-1A scholarship during, literally, the very last minute before letter of intent day arrived. The defensive backfield looks to be more experienced but as we learned last year, it's not experience that gets the job done. And it's certainly not track speed, as Ron Girault so adroitely showed everyone. Instead, it is the knowledge of where the football is, in short, knowledge of the game.
Without a doubt, the top defensive back on Rutgers' early season offer list, and likely the top overall player in the nation, is Myron Rolle. However, Rolle has openly stated he intends to look at only five schools, of which Rutgers is not a part of.
Brian Callahan, a 6-foot-2 and 190-pound product out of Don Bosco Prep in northern New Jersey, received his one and only written scholarship offer, thus far, from Rutgers. Louisville has also offered Callahan, but only verbally. A written offer is expected soon, and much like the prospects listed above the recruiting battle for one of the Garden State's top prospects will begin to heat up. At this time Callahan expects to take a wait and see approach and learn more about the schools he is currently receiving interest from. These schools, many of which are likely to extend at least verbal offers by the time the high school season rolls around include Boston College, Notre Dame, Iowa, Wisconsin - in short, all schools that at one time or another have done well for themselves plucking out talent from talent-rich New Jersey.
Others: Antwine Perez, Woodrow Wilson HS, Camden, NJ. Kevin Holloway, McArthur HS, Hollywood, FL. James Dixon, Hyde Leadership School, Hamden, CT. Dexter McCluster, Largo HS, Largo FL.
Total Offers for position: 6
Total Defensive Offers: 20
Total Offensive Offers: 21
Total Offers: 40
Note: Bruce Campbell [DE,OL] is cross-listed as both a defensive lineman and offensive lineman, bringing down the total offer list by one, to 40.
The evaluation period does not begin until May. In past seasons Rutgers has tendered several offers at their Florida and New Jersey camps, some resulting in immediate commitments (e.g. Damaso Munoz) and some resulting in the initiation of a relationship that resulted in commitments later on during the recruiting season (e.g. Chris McClover). The offer list is expected to grow, and grow significantly, as many of the prospects listed above begin to narrow their choices down as their respective list of suitors grows too big (e.g. Myron Rolle, who has already trimmed his expansive list down to a single five).
In addition to the names mentioned above, which provides an early list of prospects for Rutgers fans to keep track of, Scarlet Knight fans should keep in mind a few select periods when the offer list may expand in a matter of days. One such day is May 4th, the day of the Elite Combine at the Meadowlands, where some of the Mid-Atlantic's top prospects are expected to be in attendance. Another period to keep in mind is the latter stage of May toward the beginning of June, when Rutgers takes its show down south for its annual series of camps in south Florida. And lastly, as last year, Rutgers will hold its own three-day camp on the University campus during this upcoming July.
Mike and the Big Dog LLC