Tons of Upside for NJ OL

The current crop of juniors, next year's seniors, will be one of the top overall classes, in terms of both star power and depth, in NJ in recent memory. One of the top OLs in the Garden State is already seeing significant interest from a number of schools, including his state school: Rutgers. Ryan Bennett was one of many prospects on hand last week for Rutgers' Junior Day, and in what follows, he weighs in on his thoughts about the experience.

Ryan Bennett just turned 17 years old. But you wouldn't know that by looking at his profile. Standing in at 6-foot-5 and 265-pounds, Bennett, who earned his job as a starter on the OL only three games into his sophomore season, will be looked upon heavily as one of Immaculata's veteran leaders this upcoming year.

"At Immaculate you can't play varsity as a freshman. So I started playing varsity as a sophomore and after three games into the year I earned the starting spot I still have," stated Bennett.

It's precisely this rapid movement on his HSs depth chart that has caught the eyes of many colleges. A big, though somewhat svelt, body with an impressive frame on which additional weight would feel right at home on, has many recruiters projecting the young lineman as a D-I lineman.

And plenty of colleges have noticed.

"Right now, most of the interest is coming from Virginia, UConn, USF, Miami, Duke, UNC, and Rutgers," stated Bennett.

Bennett, who has been timed at a 5.2 40-yard dash last year, attended Rutgers' Junior Day last weekend.

"We got there pretty early and we had some breakfast there [at Rutgers]. Then Coach Schiano came in and talked to us for a little bit. We then went on a tour and we took a look at the Hale Center and the facilities, which was all really impressive. We then took a tour of the whole campus, where the team studies, pretty much everything. It was all very impressive to see the focus on the academics also," continued Bennett.

While Bennett has not attended any other Junior Days, he has received plenty of attention from other schools, including invites for summer camps. North Carolina and Duke are two of the schools that have asked the offensive lineman to trip down for their camp this upcoming summer.


Ryan Bennett

While Bennett offers no favorites at this time and indicates that proximity to home is not an issue of great importance to him, he did state that it may be an issue for him when decision time comes around:
"They [Bennett's parents] love Rutgers. They love the individual attention and they love the academic support here. And it would be nice if my parents had the opportunity to come see me."

Please send any comments to mgeorge@rutgersfootball.com. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss any aspect of Rutgers athletics with other Rutgers fans, please visit our message boards.


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