Big Recruiting Weekend on Tap for RU Football

Rutgers Football will host a total of nine HS athletes this upcoming weekend. Each will be on hand for their official visit. With a precious low number of scholarships still available for the current class, RU is in the process of placing its focus on a small number of blue-chip prospects. Who's coming this weekend? Read on for details.

Joe Martinek ----- Status: Committed to Rutgers

Martinek is the all-time New Jersey rushing record holder, eclipsing the previous mark by a whopping 869 yards, a mark that is often times a successful season total for a majority of accomplished players.

Martinek rushed for 7,589 yards during his illustrious Hopatcong HS career and reached pay-dirt an 80 times. The Rutgers commitment made a couple of unofficial trips to see his future teammates practice during the past summer and that was enough to convince the Garden State prospect to stay home.

Martinek is being brought in as an Athlete. An accomplished runner in the HS ranks, his future at Rutgers likely lies on the defensive side of the ball, quite possibly at FS.  Due to his athleticism fans should expect Martinek to get his first taste of college football action next season on Special  Teams.


Justin Francis ----- Status: Committed to Rutgers

The Broward County star has an attractive blend of size and quickness that attracted early offers from a number of schools. 

Francis was a Rutgers Camp committment and the talented lineman will bring a new  flavor to a quick, but previously undersized interior Scarlet Knight DL. Possessing long arms and a quick first step, Francis displays the sort of versatility that GS's previous classes have become known for.  The south Florida star may remain at DE but is projected to grow into a 3-technique interior lineman and will help increase the size and bolster the quickness of a rapidly growing interior RU DL.

Now standing at 6-foot-3-inches and weighing in at roughly 230-pounds, Francis, who took some heat for his early commitment to Rutgers, has been able to turn the tables on his fellow nay-sayers:


"Everyone doubted me at first. But I told them they better be looking out. We're not messing around up at Rutgers. With the success they've been having, now half the kids around school are telling me, ‘Justin my bad. Justin take me to Rutgers with you'."


Al-Majid Hutchins ----- Status: Committed to Rutgers

Al-Majid Hutchins may be the cover corner of the future for Rutgers. 

Possessing great speed and awareness, Hutchins verballed early to RU and referred to his future home with high praise:

"Rutgers is like paradise," he said upon his pledge early this past summer. 

The aggressive 5-foot-10-inch and 185-pound CB will have a chance to compete for a spot on the two-deep and earn possible early playing time as one of the corner spots may remain up for grabs into summer practice. Hutchins led his East Orange squad to a 6-3 regular season record this past fall including a berth in the North-1/Group-4 NJ State Playoffs where they would fall to eventual runner-up Eastside.


Caleb Ruch ----- Status: Committed to Rutgers

Caleb Ruch took a whirlwind tour this past summer, seeing as many places as possible, including a single-day camping stay at Rutgers. When it was all said and done, Ruch's final decision came down to West Virginia and Rutgers - Ruch decided he'd look better in Scarlet and gave Coach Schiano his verbal commitment.

Ruch is an explosive offensive lineman. Due to his ability to get out of his stance with such rapidity, he is able to grab on to his defender, stay low to the ground, and make his way to the second level with ease and frequency. Ruch is as adept at run blocking as he is at pass blocking and all signs point to his being the next great Center at Rutgers.

Though Ruch has the versatility to play at either the Guard or Center position in college, the AAAA All-PA 1st Team selection as an offensive lineman, will have an opportunity to compete for a two-deep spot at C starting this summer.


Desmond Stapleton ----- Status: Committed to Rutgers

Desmond Stapleton is the younger brother of now-former Rutgers starting Center - and Rimington Award finalist - Darnell Stapleton. After securing several early offers Desmond decided to end his recruitment shortly after the Rutgers camp.

Desmond's long wing-span, good feet, impressive size, and if genes are any indication, outstanding work ethic, gives the standout Jersey prospect as much up upside as any OL in this class. Desmond was very impressive at the All-American Combine last spring, taking on and more than holding his own, several of the top prospects in attendance, including Anthony Davis and Keith Newell.  Little was it known at the time that the battles brewing between the three young men back then would be one of future teammates as Scarlet Knight members.


Wayne Thomas ----- Status: Committed to Rutgers

Thomas is an imposing lineman that had a slew of early offers from several BCS schools and interest from the likes of Ohio State (verbal offer) and others. However, he chose to go with his heart and on June 7th decided to put a quick and abrupt end to his recruitment. Thomas was the first Rutgers Football commitment for the current class and his pledge led the way for a number of subsequent verbals soon to follow.

"He's the best kept secret around," stated Coach McKenna at the time of Thomas' decision. Thomas didn't attend the Combine, did not participate at the Elite College Combine, and garnered his offers based solely on his game and highlight tapes alone.

"He runs a 4.9 fourty. He had 102 tackles last year, 19 for loss, 9 1/2 sacks while playing both ways. He's explosive and has fantastic feet. Wayne fires off the ball low and plays like he's 6-feet or 6-foot-1, but when he needs to extend his arms he has a 7-foot wingspan," continued Coach McKenna.

Thomas is another prospect that will fit in nicely as a 3-technique lineman at RU, continuing the increase in both size, speed and athleticism, that have become the trademark of a nationally recognized RU DL.


San San Te ----- Status: Committed to Rutgers

Te may perhaps fit the biggest need for the Scarlet Knights due to the soon-to-be-coming departure of Sr. Jeremy Ito.

The 5-foot-11 and 160-pounder by way of Hickory HS (Hickory, NC), took an official visit to Rutgers the week of the Connecticut game. While he didn't witness a dominating performance by the Scarlet Knights, he did see a team that did what it had to do despite not giving its best performance, a true indication of a winning team.

Te had garnered interest from a number of schools nationally, including ASU, UNC, NC State, and South Carolina, but in the end decided to take his 40-yard per punt average and FG credentials to New Brunswick.

"I think their [Rutgers Football] success is just great. Coach Schiano has done an amazing job there. I'm just very excited about Rutgers and the whole program."


Jonathan Freeney ----- Status: Committed to Rutgers

The Coconut Creek HS (Coconut Creek, FL) was perhaps the surprise commitment to the current Rutgers Football class. Freeney, a second cousin to NFL DE Dwight Freeney, finished his senior campaign with six sacks and two interceptions while playing linebacker and defensive end.  The 6-foot-3 and 215-pounder will not strictly be an end speed rusher, but due to his athleticism and speed, will give the RU staff the opportunity to drop him back into coverage.

Freeney is the perfect example of Rutgers Football Head Coach Greg Schiano's defensive "attacking" philosophy - Freeney is the type of player that allows the "attack" to come from anywhere and anytime. As long as RU's defenders continue to possess the kind of speed and learn the sort of ball awareness they have been under the tutelage of the defensive mind, RU will continue to basically play a slew of LBers, 2 CBs and a NT, keeping opposing offenses completely on their heels at all times.


Jourdon Brooks ----- Status: Not Committed

Jourdon Brooks is the lone uncommitted prospect taking an official to Rutgers this week. Brooks' Maryland friend and Rutgers pledge, Joseph Lefeged, was set to take his official this week but had to post-pone for an additional week due to another engagement.  As such, with all but one prospect being future Rutgers Scarlet Knight members, it is believed that the full-court press may be put on Brooks, in an attempt to land the standout RB/MLB.

Brooks, the Seneca Valley (Germantown, MD) product estimates that he ran for more than 700 yards on 50 carries with 10 touchdowns. He has already completed three official visits, to Tennessee, Illinois, and Syracuse, making his Rutgers visit along with his father, his fourth official trip. will be in touch with Brooks shortly after the completion of his trip to find out if there will be a new addition to the current Rutgers Football class.

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