StateofRutgers.com [SOR] will, from this point forward, take an in-depth look at the Rutgers Football recruiting efforts for the 2009 class. We'll delve into the topic position by position, take a look at who is on board already, who might be next in line, and who the remaining possible prospects, if any, are that may eventually call RU their home.
Key losses after the '08 season ... 1 [Mike Gilmartin]: Gilmartin is a 5th year redshirt senior by way of Estero HS [Estero, FL], that saw action in all 13 games during the 2007 season, backing up Jeremy Zuttah at RT. Gilmartin, who will be counted upon for significant action once again this season, will be the lone upperclassmen to graduate following the conclusion of the '08 campaign.
RU likely to sign... 4 [Jamal Wilson and Mark Brazinski are both already committed to the Scarlet Knights]. During both the 2006 and 2007 campaigns, the Scarlet Knights enjoyed, under the tutelage of OL Coach Kyle Flood, one of the top lines in the country, excelling in all facets of the game. Despite the graduation of only 1 veteran Knight after this upcoming season (see above), RU is likely to attempt continuing building significant depth at a position that rarely sees newcomers participating during the early part of their careers (i.e., as freshman). With a pair of high school standouts already committed, RU is likely to add two more to this already impressive group, prior to signing day.
On the board and listing RU ... Several prospects are still listing Rutgers as one of their top schools under consideration.
Oday Aboushi [offer]: Aboushi is taking an unofficial visit to Rutgers today [July 21st], and amongst those players still on the recruiting board, Aboushi's interest in RU is tops. Aboushi holds offers from Iowa, Maryland, and Rutgers, with Boston College, and Virginia also close to extending a 'ship. Aboushi is being recruited as a Tackle - his athleticism, footwork, and impressive use of his hands could enable the Xaverian HS standout, and one of the top overall players in the Empire State, to play either Tackle position, or even Guard, down the road.
Khalil Wilkes [offer]: Wilkes is enjoying the last leg of an extended trip around the country that saw him take unofficial visits to Cal-Berkeley, Stanford, and Wake Forest. Wilkes holds major offers from schools across the country. Despite his current whirlwind tour, Wilkes seems intent on saving his last unofficial visit for his state school, Rutgers, though nothing has been ironed out just yet.
Malcolm Bunche [offer]: This massive lineman from Delaware has the sort of athleticism reserved for athletes of smaller stature. Bunche, who has camped at Rutgers, recently took a visit to the University of Miami, and reportedly came away very impressed.
Joe Bonadies [no offer]: Bonadies likely has the best footwork of any OL prospect SOR has seen this season. However, his major disadvantage is his weight. If Bonadies is able to continue to impress on the field this fall, while also putting on significant additional bulk, he is likely to start receiving BCS offers - his technique, use of hands, and overall skill level is simply too good to pass up on.
Mike Cole [no offer]: It's really uncertain whether Cole will wind up on the offensive side (as a Center) or on the defensive side (as an interior DL or at end) of the ball. Cole plays with as much energy as any player we've seen this spring or summer. Given Brazinki's commitment, Cole is likely being recruited as a DL at RU (rather than at C), but since other schools have displayed dual interest, we'll list Cole on both sides of the ball as his eventual position remains unknown at this time. Cole's 40-time in the 4.8 to 4.9 range on numerous occasions, has turned heads at several of the camps he's attended, and BCS-level offers, after his initial trio of games this fall, are likely headed his way.