At the onset of this past week Rutgers.Scout.com brought you news of three welcome additions to its staff. "Our primary objective is to continue to provide Rutgers enthusiasts with the best product available and these additions certainly go a long way in helping Mike & The Big Dog's take the next step forward," stated Donald "Big Dog" Forbes, publisher of Rutgers.Scout.com, at the time of the announcement. Indeed, with the recruiting sports industry beginning to take shape during the last few years it was time for Mike & The Big Dog's to take a necessary step forward that would provide its readers and long-time followers with an improved product. To this end, Mike Sullivan, formerly the National Editor of Scout.com's competition and one of the most recognized names in basketball recruiting has joined Mike & The Big Dog's as the leading basketball writer on staff. Andrew Bone, longtime writer for Scout.com and publisher of more than 400 stories for 'BamaMag.com will make a significant addition to our football coverage. And last, but certainly not least, one of Mike & The Big Dog's most loyal supporters over the years and proud member of the website since 2003, has been NJMojo. NJMojo will join Mike & The Big Dog's as staff moderator of the message boards.
As the week progressed we highlighted a prospect that we introduced to you during our coverage of the Rutgers football camp at the end of June. Bryan Wright, a 5-foot-11 and 165 pound prospect from Miami-Northwestern HS plays both CB and S and received a Rutgers offer shortly after his Rutgers camping trip. An outstanding student, Wright holds a 4.2 GPA while taking several Advanced Placement courses, including U.S. History and English Literature.
With mid-week arriving and Rutgers' summer (football) camp less than 7 days away, the first installment of our Summer Camp Preview was issued. The article reviewed, in detail, new faces on the roster and some that may have been forgotten. The focus detailed all prospects, from transfers to redshirts, to early arrivals and former non-qualifiers, and concluded with an overview of the incoming freshmen and no-shows. Of the players signed and sealed all but two were delivered: OL Darren Salinardi (6-4, 290, Kents Hill Prep [Kents Hill, ME], was expected to arrive on the Banks but did not. Salinardi, like RB Jerome Messam (6-3, 235, Notre Dame HS, Brampton, Ontario) did not qualify academically and will not be able to enroll at Rutgers.
As the week progressed Scout.com issued a press release detailing that the country's No. 1 independent online sports network had signed an agreement with FOX Interactive Media. The deal will bring to Rutgersfootball.com users video, stats, Associated Press game stories and other content from FoxSports.com, proprietary FOX team-specific video for Scout.com subscribers, and increased visibility of Scout experts and publishers on Fox Sports Television and Radio, among other major benefits.
Though Rutgers had already received a commitment from 6-foot-4 Tom Lang of Massachusetts, the Scarlet Knights continue to pursue other QB targets. Chief among these targets is a 6-foot-5 and 225 pound gunslinger by the name of B. J. Phillips. Phillips has received five scholarship offers, and currently has no leader among his varied suitors.
Unlike the sweltering summer heat, the week began to draw to a conclusion as one of Rutgers' own, Clark Harris, a local New Jersey product, became one of twenty players across the nation to be nominated for the 2005 John Mackey Award. The award, given annually to the nation's top tight end, will be given out at a ceremony this upcoming December. Clark Harris, a 1st Team All-Big East performer in 2004, ranked first in the Big East conference in touchdown receptions (5), receiving yards (725), and number of catches (53) among tight ends.
A twenty-four hour sport is the game of recruiting, where a commitment can come virtually un-announced at any time. Such was the case Friday evening when Rutgers fans learned of the sixth verbal commitment of the current class - Blair Bines. Bines, standing at 6-feet-1 and 230-pounds, is a linebacker that made 1st team All-Long Island as a junior in 2004. Recording 70 tackles on defense and scoring 6 touchdowns as a fullback Bines led his team to the Suffolk County Division 1 finals. He is recognized by many as one of the ten best football players in the State of New York for this upcoming season. Despite holding offers from Virginia and North Carolina, Bines decided to pull the trigger in favor of Rutgers and continue Head Coach Greg Schiano's torrid recruitment of the Empire State.
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