Speaks with Edwin Alvarez

What a recruiting bonanza the end of June turned out to be for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights program. After receiving commitments from a pair of A-list prospects, the good news continued to come as Edwin Alvarez, a 6-foot-7 and 270-pound prospect by way of Miami-Central HS (Miami, FL) pulled the trigger in favor of Rutgers.

Edwin Alvarez (6-foot-7 and 270-pounds) was a relatively unknown pospect until the MSL Combine earlier this past spring. After doing his thing there, Alvarez began to draw significant attention. His first scholarship offer, from Oklahoma, quickly arrived. Earlier this month Alvarez made his way to the Rutgers Camp held at Miami Edison Senior High, where once again, he impressed. The big man's footwork and agility, his main attributes, drew raves from the Rutgers staff. After camp concluded, a Rutgers 'ship was offered.

All counted, Alvarez h3olds a number of offers as college coaches could not overlook a prospect with the ability to move with such ease, one with the athletic ability that would enable him to arguably project as a Tight End at the next level. The offers include Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, California, FAMU, and Rutgers.

As the month of June progressed Alvarez' next plan of action was to make the trek northbound: destination Rutgers. The Rutgers camp was to begin June 25th and last through the 28th. Alvarez buckled down, got in his car, and drove the entire I-95 stretch, a 23-hour drive from Miami to New Brunswick, to make it to Rutgers.

"Me coming up there, period, driving the entire time, that was surprising," said a half-jokingly Alvarez. "Driving up there for 23-hours was a surprise, because it's a long drive." But that was just an example of the dedication that Alvarez brings to the table and one of the main reasons that attracted Rutgers to him in the first place.

On the other hand, for Alvarez, it was his bond formed with Rutgers Defensive Backs Coach Chris Demarest that was a top reason for his decision to end his recruitment now.

"We have a real good relationship. He knows what I want and I know what he wants. We're real tight and we're real good friends," stated Alvarez.

Having been on campus for a number of days, Alvarez had an opportunity to see the campus, its layout, and the nearby surroundings, all of which made his final decision to attend Rutgers that much easier.

"The campus was real nice. Everything was good, everything was put together real well. The weight room is fantastic, Rutgers is just a beautiful place."

During his visit to Rutgers, Alvarez had the opportunity to meet some old friends from back home, notably Senior WR/Ath Willie Foster and Senior WR Marcus Daniels, both coming to Rutgers by way of Miami Central HS.

"I had a chance to meet with some of my boys, some of my old friends from Central like Willie [Foster] and Marcus Daniels. They were just telling me how much they liked it there and they were so welcoming to me. And they were really surprised when I committed," continued Alvarez.

Alvarez also had the opportunity to meet with the one player that's on everybody's highlight film these days, namely Brian Leonard. What stuck with Alvarez about his meeting with Leonard was how all the star players on the Rutgers team, are just players, no higher or no lower than anybody else on the totem pole. It was precisely this tight-knit family atmosphere feeling that clinched it for Alvarez.

While this may have been the first time that Alvarez made the trek up to New Jersey, it is, ironically enough, a sort of homecoming for the future Scarlet Knight lineman.

"We have good family friends up there, in the Bronx and we have uncles and other family up there in Manhattan as well. They will all be able to come see me play," said Alvarez.

In the end, Coach Chris Demarest has now landed a pair of gems, a pair of bright student-athletes, from the sunshine state in Alvarez and Ruiz. Upon his arrival to Rutgers, talk around the water cooler had hyped his recruiting abilities and many wondered loudly how quickly Rutgers could upgrade its recruiting efforts in the sunshine state. After landing some highly touted prospects last year, including Tim "The Ghost" Brown, Antonio Lowery, Chris Paul-Etienne, and Sorie Bayoh, Rutgers fans should feel like they are on top of the world given the current list of commitments for the class of 2007.

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