Prospects set to sign with Rutgers

Below, SOR brings you an extensive list detailing the current verbal commitments who are likely to sign with the Scarlet Knights on National Signing Day.

The 2007 Rutgers recruiting class, again, appears to be the best in their history. Northeast recruiting analyst Bob Lichtenfels writes the following:

"Naturally, after two very good seasons there is reason for the Rutgers faithful to be happy. But in order to maintain that Greg Schiano and his staff must recruit well, so what does he do after the best season in school history? Yes, you got it he landed the best recruiting class in the programs history.

Fans of the Scarlet Knights have been crowing for years about Rutgers inability to land the top player in the state. Enter Anthony Davis's second ranked tackle prospect. Davis showed recruits that it's cool to stay home and play at Rutgers. Manny Abreu who we feel is one of the nation's elite linebackers also spurned big-time offers to play in Piscataway.

Let's add Mason Robinson and Keith Newell a pair of four-stars to the mix as well. In the end the staff managed to do two of the most important things in this game fill needs and land athletes. Look out Big East because it looks like Schiano and his boys are here to stay."

Only time will tell but this group of prospects will have an immediate impact on the Scarlet Knight program.

Anthony Davis
(Piscataway Township HS)
Piscataway, NJ

Davis has been considered the consensus #1 New Jersey prospect . At 6'6"-320lbs, he was once a standout basketball player before he took his considerable skills to the football field. His exceptional agility and quickness, for a man of his size, help lead his high school team to three trips to the playoffs including one state championship.

At the point of attack, Davis is dominant as shown by his more than 100 pancakes between his junior and senior years. His size and athleticism provides him with the ability to play any position along the offensive line with the exception of center.

His abilities helped him attract scholarship offers from over 60 programs including Ohio State, Miami, Notre Dame, and USC.

It is anticipated that Davis will immediately compete for the vacated starting right guard position.

Richard Muldrow
(York Catholic HS)
York, PA

For a 6'8"-285lb player, Muldrow possesses unusually light and quick feet. He also stars on his basketball team, where he averages a double-double (12 ppg and 10 rebounds). In one basketball game this season, he had 20 points along with 30 rebounds.

These attributes enabled him to start at the left tackle position at his high school since his sophomore year along with amassing more than 20 offers. Some of his offers included programs such as Penn State, Maryland, Boston College, Virginia, and West Virginia.

He was rated as the #41 recruit in the state of Pennsylvania by and will participate in the Pennsylvania East-West All-Star game.

Jameil Farrington
(Homestead Senior HS)
Homestead, FL

Farrington is a talented edge pass rusher who finished his junior year with 53 tackles and 14 sacks. He has a big enough frame for him to add weight and move to DT.

Farrington stated that his strength as a player as "the way I read keys. Some guys just go but I can read what the tackle is doing and use it to my advantage."

He selected Rutgers over Auburn, North Carolina State, and Mississippi.

Jonathan Freeny
(Coconut Creek HS)
Coconut Creek, FL
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
(Seneca Valley HS)
Germantown, MD

As a senior, Brooks ran for more than 700 yards on 50 carries with 10 touchdowns. At a Maryland combine, the 6'1"-240 RB posted a 4.5 in the forty. His abilities allowed him to gain scholarship offers from Tennessee, Syracuse, Illinois, and Connecticut.

Brooks was ranked as the #23 player in Maryland by

Mason Robinson
(Somerville HS)
Somerville, NJ

Robinson is among the most explosive athletes in the Garden State. He possesses superior speed, having been clocked at 10.5 in the 100-meters and 4.35 in the forty yard dash. This speed has aided him in amassing more than 2800 yards and 15 touchdowns rushing over the past two seasons. On defense, he had 4 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries. He was named All-State, All-Area, and All-Conference. He selected Rutgers over scholarship offers from Boston College, Michigan State, and Minnesota.

Robinson's abilities could be shown on either offense or defense. Kevin Carty, coach of Somerville HS, stated "he has great hips as a defender, and intercepted six passes last year (junior year). I could never figure out why anybody would even want to throw it his way at all. He has great hands on offense, and one coach told me that he looked a lot like Santana Moss on film, and that he could be very effective in that slot receiver type of role."

Alex Silvestro
(Paulsboro HS)
Paulsboro, NJ

Silvestro was a two-sport star, in football and wrestling. As a junior, Silvestro registered 85 tackles, 5 sacks, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. His performance was good enough to earn first team All-South Jersey honors by the Philadelphia Inquirer. In the wrestling ring, he was 25-2 and wrestled in the New Jersey State Championship Tournament.

He selected Rutgers over scholarship offers from West Virginia, Tennessee, Iowa, and Minnesota.

He bench presses 390lbs , squats 500lbs and has a 32" vertical jump.

Silvestro stated , "I'm real aggressive at getting to the ball. I want to work on everything, but mostly my speed by doing the parachutes and speed sled."

Robinson Alexis
(West Boca Raton HS)
Boca Raton, FL

Alexis is a player who was identified as a part of the Rutgers football camps held in Florida.

His speed out of his cuts, hands, and route running makes him a standout prospect. At the Rutgers camp, he stated that he ran a 4.43, while at the Auburn camp he stated that he ran a 4.37 forty.

As a junior, Alexis was timed at 10.6 in the 100 meters, 22 ft in the long jump, and 45 ft in the triple jump.

San San Te
(Hickory HS)
Hickory, NC
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."

Manny Abreu
(Union Hill HS)
Union City, NJ

At 6'2"-235lbs, Abreu is a tremendous athlete who could play linebacker, safety or even wide receiver. His lateral movement from sideline-to-sideline and first step are amazingly quick. A number of his strengths are his abilities to read, react, and play in space.

As a junior, he recorded 85 tackles, six sacks, two fumble recoveries, an interception and blocked three kicks.

He selected Rutgers over offers from Florida, Miami, Michigan, and Florida State. He is the #2 rate OLB in the nation by

Al-Ghaffar Lane
(Paterson Catholic HS)
Paterson, NJ

Lane can best be described to the casual fan as simply a menace to the opposition. He flat-out dominated this past year at PC and continued his impressive showing at the East Meets West All-Star Game where he notched 8 tackles (2nd in the game) to go along with 1 sack.

Lane is a perfect LB/DE blend that will use his tremendous speed to cause havov in the opposition's backfield, but can also drop back in coverage with ease.

He selected Rutgers over Syracuse and Purdue.

Joe Martinek
(Hopatcong HS)
Hopatcong, NJ

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.

Caleb Ruch
(Quakertown Community HS)
Quakertown, PA
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
(Union Senior HS)
Union, NJ
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.

Fabian Ruiz
(Miami Sunset Senior HS)
Miami, FL

Young man that SOR first saw at the RU Camp in FL this past summer and unveiled to fans shortly thereafter. Ruiz competed for a single day at Miami Edison Senior HS and the RU Staff was so impressed that an offer was imminent.

The 4.7 40 athlete possesses great hands, is an impressive route runner and has as much upside as any TE in the sunshine state. Ruiz measured in a 6'4" and one-half earlier this past summer but has put on another 3/4 of an inch while continuing to improve on his speed and ball awareness.

Justin Francis
(Miramar HS)
Miramar, FL

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'."

Desmond Wynn
(St. Mark's
)Wilmington, DE
All-State First Team as a defensive tackle in the state of Delaware by both the Delaware Interscholastic Football Coaches and Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association, Wynn is a very long, lean and impressively athletic player that fits Coach Schiano's Fox position to a tee. Wynn was the fifth pledge to the current class, ending his recruitment this past summer. Wynn, despite his leanness, is deceptively strong and used a combination of quickness and brute force to level the competition in his single day showing at the RU Camp this past summer.
Keith Newell
(Trenton Central HS)
Trenton, NJ

At 6'6"-280lbs with 5.0 forty speed, he was dominant from his DE position. As a junior, Newell registered 7 sacks, 3 fumbles caused, 8 fumbles recovered, and 18 solo tackles.

Newell is a raw talent who possesses good athleticism, balance, and speed. He abilities might be best suited for the left tackle position. However, he will likely start out on the DL.

He is New Jersey's #8 prospect and selected the Scarlet Knights over Illinois and Temple.

Joseph Lefeged
(Our Lady Good Counsel HS)Wheaton, MD

Lefeged is a player who excelled at a number of positions in high school. He played safety, LB, QB, and WR.

As a senior, Lefeged made 63 tackles, including 15 for a loss, with seven sacks and two interceptions. He averaged more than 10 yards per carry, and six of his 10 total touchdowns came on plays of 30 yards or longer. He was named Washington Post All-Metro and was also chosen as the Defensive Player of the Year.
Lefeged threw for 646 yards and six touchdowns, he ran for 673 yards and nine touchdowns. On defense, he recorded 70 tackles and 5 sacks in 10 games.

He is the #23 rated safety in the nation by

He selected the Scarlet Knights over offers from Virginia, Boston College, Temple, and Syracuse.

Al-Majid Hutchins
(East Orange HS)
East Orange, NJ
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.
Wayne Thomas
(Hamilton North-Nottingham HS)Trenton, NJ
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.


Prospects still needing to make a final decision
Jay Howard
(Jones HS)
Orlando, FL

Howard is a physical specimen, who has the ability to dominate the line of scrimmage. At 6'4"-240lbs, he possesses 4.7 speed in the forty and great quickness.

As a junior, he recorded 116 tackles and 10 sacks.

He is rated as the #38 DE in the nation by

In the summer, he committed to Florida but later re-opened his recruitment. His finalists appear to be Auburn, Florida, Florida State, and Rutgers.

Michael Campbell
(Edison HS)
Edison, NJ

At 6'3-205lbs, Campbell is a physical specimen at WR. He runs very good routes and possesses good speed.

Finalists are Temple and Rutgers.

Joseph Nicolas
(Homestead Senior HS)
Homestead, FL

At 6'2"-195lbs, Nicolas is a talented defender, who is a headhunter in the secondary. He finished the season with 56 tackles and two interceptions. At WR, he recorded nine catches for 159 yards and three touchdowns.

Nicholas says,"I feel like I'm the best player out there each time I take the field," Nicholas said. "I prepare myself well. I'm mentally ready. I take the time to study the game and my opponents. Physically, I play with a high level of intensity, something a lot of guys at this level don't do."

He is rated as the #48 safety in the nation by

His finalists are Rutgers and Miami.


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