Conversation with Tom Lemming

The 2008 Rutgers recruiting class features many skill players that provide speed and height. RU Head Coach Greg Schiano has said that last year's recruiting class seemed to focus on both the offensive and defensive line. In this class alone, Schiano signed six wide receivers and three quarterbacks, including one very important signal caller from Winter Haven, FL. SOR caught up with Tom Lemming... was able to catch up with CSTV recruiting analyst and creator of the Prep Football Report, Tom Lemming, to get his thoughts on the continued progression of the Scarlet Knights.

Signing day was very interesting for many schools, though some schools like Rutgers got a majority of their recruits locked up well in advance.

Rutgers only had to wait to get verbal commitments from three players during the month of February. This strategy has both its positives and negatives.

"That is the price you pay when you lock up a lot of guys early," Lemming said. "There are a lot of great players at the end and you are not really a part of it because you don't have a lot of scholarships and you haven't recruited them all year."

"But Texas finishes early. Georgia finished early and they get an early start on the other guys. It might be a good philosophy for Rutgers also, as they are already going after the juniors."

A handful of recruits told SOR that they committed to Rutgers because the Scarlet Knights either began showing them attention before anyone else did or showered the recruit with more attention than any other school. It is clear that Schiano and his staff want to identify the players that are good fits for the program and go strong after them.

Rutgers finished with a solid recruiting class according to Lemming and he was impressed with several of the players that Schiano signed.

"Overall it is a good compliment to last year's outstanding class," Lemming said. "It might be missing the marquee names like an Anthony Davis, but Art Forst, I think is potentially, not now, but potentially as good as Davis in a couple of years."

Rutgers fans will likely be fixated on D.C. Jefferson who could be the next quarterback for the Scarlet Knights after Mike Teel graduates. Jefferson is a four-star player according to Lemming and believes he could be an impact player.

"(He is) a Daunte Culpepper type." Lemming said. "He is from the same area. Maybe Daunte was a little bit heavier, but they have the same kind of size and arm strength."

Schiano had three players enroll early for the spring semester, including wide receiver Keith Stroud, the aforementioned Forst, and quarterback Stephen Shimko. Stroud could be a breakout player that may have flied a bit under the radar. Lemming said he liked Stroud, who played a year of prep school at Fork Union Military Academy.

However, a player that not a lot of people outside of the Garden State may know about, but one that could provide an impact is the lone running back in the class: Rashad White.

White weighs in at 165 pounds and will likely need to put some bulk on his body before hitting the field for Rutgers, but he could provide a home run hitter in the backfield.

"He is not real big, but he has real good vision, good bounce, and surprising strength for a little guy," Lemming said.

Compared to other Big East schools, Rutgers did very well, accoding to Lemming, coming in second behind Pittsburgh who once again reeled in a strong class.

"The only top-100 players went to Pittsburgh (in the Big East)," Lemming said. "Pitt dominated western PA. They got everyone but Terrell Pryor it seemed like. After that, you have Syracuse who had their first good year in 10 years. They were really slowly going downhill, but they reversed the trend and got almost every top kid in New York, except for (Scott) Vallone. He is one of the superstars. He is a four-star player with five-star heart and he'll be going to Rutgers."

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