Rutgers Recruiting Class Overview

Today, Rutgers will unveil the 8th recruiting class in the Greg Schiano Era. As Schiano has done in prior classes, he continues to make in-roads in New Jersey. In addition, he continues to extend the "State of Rutgers" beyond its natural, geographic borders by plugging recruits from Maryland and Virginia and from New York and South Florida. Overall, this class addresses a number of needs.

The class breakdown is as follows: three quarterbacks, one running back, five wide receivers, two offensive linemen, two defensive linemen, three linebackers, one cornerback, and one safety. ranks this class second in the Big East Conference, behind only Pittsburgh, and 43rd nationally.

Below is a breakdown of the class by position:

D.C. Jefferson – (6'6"-240lbs) - nationally ranked 27th quarterback by way of Winter Haven Senior High School (Winter Haven, FL) Jefferson re-committed to RU on Dec. 10. Initially, Jefferson committed to Rutgers before switching his commitment to LSU, and eventually changed his commitment one final time back to Rutgers.

Did you know:
RU commit David Rowe said of Jefferson: "He picked up the baseball and threw it 89 or 90 miles an hour. That is all I need to know about what kind of arm he has."

Jefferson said of Rutgers' explosive passing offense: "It is good being able to throw the ball more than 15 times a game."

Wayne Warren – (6'1"-202lbs) - nationally ranked 28th quarterback out of Wicomico High School in Salisbury, MD. Warren committed to RU on Dec. 10th. He played both quarterback and safety. As a senior, Warren suffered a torn ACL injury that limited him to playing on five games.

Warren said: "I suffered a knee injury this season and they have the best equipment in their training room for guys with injuries – that is something that also stood out to me."

Stephen Shimko – (6'5"-205lbs) - nationally ranked 102nd quarterback out of Ewing High School in Ewing, NJ. Shimko committed to RU on Aug. 10th. As a junior, he threw for more than 1400 yards and 18 touchdowns. He enrolled at Rutgers in January to get a head start on his schooling and his collegiate career.

Coach Bamber of Ewing High School said: "Stephen has a tall frame and a very strong arm. His accuracy is outstanding. He has spent four hard years concentrating on making himself the best quarterback that he can be. Stephen has also worked with his quarterback coach over the last four years to learn the game of football. His passion for competition and winning is very strong".

Running Back:
Rashad White – (5'10"-155lbs) - nationally ranked 78th running back out of Teaneck High School in Teaneck, NJ. White committed to RU on Mar. 15th. Rushed for nearly 5,000 yards during his high school career. White selected Rutgers over offers from Tennessee, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh. For White, the need to stay close to home was a big factor.

White said: "I felt like I was home. I felt that I was welcome and a part of the program. It's more of a family atmosphere at Rutgers. I'm nervous about playing there but it's more of a happy feeling since I will be playing with people that are just as good as me."

Wide Receivers:
Timothy Wright – (6'2"-200lbs) - nationally ranked 53rd wide receiver out of Wall High School in Wall, NJ. Wright committed to RU on Jun. 27th. Had over 12 scholarship offers including Boston College, Cincinnati, Michigan State and Maryland. Played quarterback, running back, defensive back, and wide receiver in high school.

Wright said: "Last year during the camp, they really showed me a lot of interest which I liked, because there were a lot of other recruits out there, other than myself. They really impressed me with a lot of the things they offer at the school and I guess that was the real clincher for the decision that I made."

Malcolm Johnson – (6'1"-151lbs) - 124th ranked wide receiver out of Bartow Senior High School in Bartow, FL. Johnson committed to RU on Jan. 30th. Picked Rutgers over Virginia Tech and Arkansas. As a junior, he had over 700 yards receiving on 26 catches. He can also play cornerback where he had 23 tackles and an interception. Has 4.4 speed and a 36 inch vertical leap. Recruited as an athlete by Rutgers.

Johnson said: "They (Rutgers) do not know which position I will play yet. I do not have a preference and I will play where ever they need me. The position really does not matter."

Keith Stroud – (6'3"-190lbs) – a post-graduate wide receiver out of Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, VA, Stroud committed to RU on Dec. 26th. Caught 12 touchdown passes last season at Fork Union Military Academy. Has a 38 ½ vertical leap coupled with 4.5 speed. Enrolled this spring at Rutgers.

Coach Shuman of Fork Union Military Academy said: "Plaxico Burress played for us. Ernest Wilford played for us. These are tall, lanky receivers that are in the pros. He is a mix between those - he is as physical as Plax and he has a little bit more burst than Ernest."

Eddie Poole – (6'2"-190lbs) wide receiver out of Glades Central High school in Belle Glade, FL. Committed on Feb. 1st. Had a big senior year where he amassed over 700 yards receiving. Interested in Miami, Florida, Florida State, and Clemson. Enjoyed his first trip to the area a few weeks ago.

Poole said of Rutgers Secondary Coach Chris Demarest: "My mom has met with Coach Demo and she just thinks he's a very good man, she really trusts him with her child. And Coach Demo is a good guy. He will just tell you everything you need to know, the entire truth."

Morgan Carter – (6'4'0196lbs) - 182nd ranked wide receiver out of C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, VA. Committed to RU on Dec. 9. Received offers from UConn, Michigan State, and Temple. Was recruited as an athlete and will have the opportunity to play numerous positions. Hopes to make an impact early at Rutgers.

Carter said: "They (Rutgers) were my first offer and that always resonated with me. Every offer from then on that I would get, I would compare back to Rutgers and what I experienced whether it be the facilities, the campus, the stadium, the coaching staff, all the way down to how they prepared food, and the people overall."

Brandon Jones – (6'0"-175lbs) - unranked wide receiver out of Winslow Township High School in Atco, NJ. Committed on Jan. 15th. Jones was a two-way athlete who played wide receiver and defensive back. An injury during his junior year limited his playing time. As a senior, he amassed over 1,000 yards receiving. Selected Rutgers over Iowa, Toledo, Virginia and Temple. Will have the opportunity to play WR or DB.

Jones said: "Location was one of the reasons. It's close to home so my family will get to see me play, something they wouldn't get to do if I went far away. I felt really comfortable with the coaches and the facilities and they got a great program. This team is about to win a national championship down the road."

Offensive Linemen:
Art Forst – (6'8"-305lbs) 23rd ranked offensive tackle out of Manasquan High School in Manasquan, NJ. Committed on Jul. 28th. Enrolled early at Rutgers. As a junior, he helped Manasquan amass over 1800 yards rushing. Selected Rutgers over Florida, Notre Dame, Boston College and numerous other offers.

Coach Cahill of Manasquan High School said: "He (Forst) is one of those real students of the game type of kid. He wants to learn as much about the game or the opponent." Cahill also added: "He (Forst) committed early and I think number one he felt comfortable close to home, not that he was opposed to going to Florida or one of those places. But the thing that stood out for him was feeling comfortable with the coaching staff."

Devon Watkis – (6'8"-285lbs) 82nd ranked offensive tackle out of Longwood High School in Middle Island, NY. Committed on Apr. 12th. Watkis selected Rutgers because of his certainty that the program is headed toward a national championship, that it is close to home, and for the strong academics. Penn State and Maryland both tried to pry Watkis away from his commitment to Rutgers. His official visit sealed his desire to become a Scarlet Knight.

Watkis said: "I am real excited about it (signing day), I have been thinking about it for the past couple weeks. I just can't wait till Wednesday."

Defensive Linemen:
Scott Vallone – (6'3"-270lbs) 35th ranked defensive tackle out of St. Anthony's High School in Melville, NY. Vallone committed to RU on Jun. 10th. Selected as the Daily News Player of the Year. Played a lot stronger in the second half of his senior season than the first half. Selected Rutgers over Boston College, Virginia and numerous others.

Vallone said: "I wasn't really into dragging anyone along. I knew what I wanted to do and I felt it and went with it. It was the best decision for me."

Marquis Hamm – (6'4"-220lbs) - 50th ranked defensive end out of New Brunswick High School in New Brunswick, NJ. Hamm committed to RU on Dec. 9th. Relates well to many future Scarlet Knights players. Recruited to Rutgers as a tight end though he has the talent to become a terror at defensive end. Selected Rutgers over Colorado and Connecticut.

Hamm said: "I fit very well over there with the players on their team already. They treat me like a younger brother and I never had an older brother, I only have a younger brother and it helps me fit in really well over there."

Eric LeGrand (6'2"-230lbs) – 21st ranked middle linebacker out of Colonia High School in Colonia, NJ. Committed to RU on Apr. 16th. Recorded 100 tackles at linebacker and rushed for 852 yards as a fullback this season. Believes he can contribute right away. Offered from Rutgers when he was 14.

LeGrand said: "I wanted to stay close to home and play for New Jersey. I love Rutgers, it is on a rise and it has very good academics and most of all they cared about me more than any other college I talked to across the country."

Marvin Booker – (6'2"-195lbs) – 69th ranked weak side linebacker out of Piscataway Township High School in Piscataway, NJ. Committed on Jul. 1st. Being close to home and academics were among reasons for becoming a Knight.

Booker said: "My number one goal is to get my degree. The second goal will be to continue the legacy of Piscataway players, and make a big impact along the way as a dominant defensive player. Lastly, a goal that everyone nowadays looks over is to just stay focused on the task at hand. Work hard in the books, weight room, as well as the playing field. If I keep that mindset, there is no telling what I'll be able to accomplish."

Khaseem Green (6'1"-180lbs) – post-graduate safety out of Avon High School in Avon, CT. Committed to RU on Jan. 26th. Posted 117 tackles last season. Played wide receiver and scored seven touchdowns. Posted 117 tackles, one interception, and scored three defensive touchdowns. Picked Rutgers over Hofstra, Rhode Island, and Akron.

Green said: "I wanted to go back home. I've dreamed of coming home."

David Rowe – (5'10"-190lbs) – 54th ranked cornerback out of Cocoa High School in Cocoa, FL. Committed on Jan. 17th. Academics played very important on his decision. Impressed by attention Rutgers paid him.

Rowe said: "They (RU coaches) are the first ones to do that and I only took a visit to them, to Rutgers and I liked it. Schiano is a real nice Christian guy and I just feel that it is the place that I should be for the next three of four years."

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