Wilson: "I felt like I was at home"

It all starts and ends in the trenches and for the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers it's begun with Jamal Wilson. The South Shore High School [Brooklyn, NY] and Empire State product ended his recruitment on Tuesday evening after taking an unofficial visit to Piscataway, New Jersey.

"He was up in January or February for a Junior Day, which was when they offered him so they had[i.e., Rutgers] known about him [i.e., Jamal Wilson] for some time," stated South Shore HS Head Coach Tommy Salvato.

"Penn State had offered him. Syracuse, Buffalo, and Maryland had offered him also. Boston College had been recruiting him, and they had come by the school when they were allowed to and I think they were real close to offerring, but we haven't received the paperwork," continued Coach Salvato.

Jamal Wilson becomes Rutgers' second commitment for the Class of 2009, joining Mohamed Sanu, but he's the first lineman to pull the trigger in favor of the Scarlet Knights this recruiting season.

"My first trip to Rutgers was when I went to go see the South Florida game this past year," stated Wilson. "It was a great experience. To be honest with you one of the reasons that I chose Rutgers was because I felt the program was a lot like my high school. Wherever I decided to go I wanted to make sure I felt at home."

Wilson went on to elaborate.

"Given that Coach Flood is my recruiting coach, but he's also going to be my position coach when I get to Rutgers, it made things that much easier. My Head Coach here at school is also my offensive line coach so it makes it an easier transition."

Not understating the significance of his relationship to Coach Flood, there were additional factors that helped push Wilson to his decision.

"Rutgers has the best facilities. My mom also thought it was all wonderful," continued Wilson, who has had the opportunity to visit all of the schools that had tendered an offer, in addition to Boston College.

Coach Salvato was in full agreement with his pupil's ultimate deciding factor: the feeling of comfort.

"He simply really wanted to be at Rutgers. From the last time that we had gone up there [during mid-winter] he had told me Coach, this is where I want to go. I wanted him to be absolutely sure of his decision so he went up to visit Syracuse, Maryland, some of the other schools, so he's been around," stated Coach Salvato.

"And I stressed to him, when you're sure then decide, but know that your word is your bond," continued Coach Salvato.

On the field, Rutgers fans can expect to see more of what they've been seeing in the trenches during the past few years - a big and athletic lineman.

"He's 6-foot-6 and about 305, maybe 310 [pounds]. For me, he's a Tackle and I think that's where he may end up at Rutgers, or maybe at Guard. He moves really well for someone his size. He has really good feet and he has a lot of potential," said Coach Salvato.

For Wilson, Rutgers, in no uncertain terms, was the perfect fit. Wherever he winds up playing, position-wise, he knows that Piscataway, New Jersey, is where he belongs.

"I've been to a number of places and the main thing that I wanted was to feel comfortable. At Rutgers, I felt like I was at home," stated Wilson.

Matei may be reached at mgeorge@rutgersfootball.com

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