RU commit Tartacoff stands out in day three

Before rain and storms brought an early end to day three of the Scarlet Knights' high school camp, the wide receiver vs. defensive back drills brought some thunder and lightning of their own to the Piscataway practice fields.

After a day of camp complete with positional drills, the senior defensive backs and wide receivers and quarterbacks met for a one on one drill that brought up mixed results before ending prematurely because of lighting in the area. Montgomery high school athlete and Rutgers committee J.T. Tartacoff ended on the high side of the drill, using his 4.34 speed to blow past defenders, catching the majority of balls thrown his way.

"I did well, I did well," Tartacoff said. "I made some nice catches, but I still have a lot to work on for my college game. It was exciting to go against some of those Florida kids and I had a good time … It's just too bad the rain came because we were really getting in our groove." But with the exception of very few, the wide receiver drills were full of drops and sloppy play. Sometimes the passes were a little off, or had a little too much mustard on them, sometimes it was good coverage, but for the most part it was just a failure to execute. By the time the catches started to come, the storm horn warning went off, ending the day at 4:15 p.m. "I like [the camp] a lot. I'm learning a whole lot," Tartacoff said. "The coaches are working me really hard, but it's only going to get me better going against all of these guys from Florida, New York and Jersey. I like it a whole lot."

The "Florida guys" mentioned by Tartacoff proved to be the buzz of the day at camp. After no Florida schools made it to the 7 on 7 Shootout Saturday despite rumors, many Florida kids made it to Rutgers camp, proving that head coach Greg Schiano still targets the state as a recruiting pipeline.

Of the Florida recruits, two hail from Cocoa, the hometown of sophomore cornerback David Rowe. Safety E.J. Johnson and quarterback Matt Younger represented Rowe's old high school, but neither has yet received a Rutgers offer.

Getting back to Tartacoff, the athlete also impressed coaches with his speed, running one of the faster 40-yard dash times at the camp, a sub 4.5 time. Tartacoff said that he tied with wide receiver Jordan Thomas for the fastest time at the camp. "[My 40] was OK, not one of my best, but on this turf with Coach [Joe] Susan timing me, I'll take it, but I'm still a little disappointed," he said. Tartacoff represents the lone skill position commit for the Knights so far in the Class of 2010 after offensive linemen Frank Quartucci and Jorge Vicioso offered verbals in the last four days. "I don't mind being the only skill guy so far because more will come," Tartacoff said. "Everything starts in the trenches and we're going to have a lot of big time o-linemen helping us out."

Before running to the buses to get out of the incoming downpour and into his dorm room, the 5'11", 171-pounder said that the camp has done nothing but improve his impressions of Rutgers. "It's a great time to be at Rutgers, not only with the new stadium, but with the coaching staff and the players. I mean they've got everything," he said in a highly excited tone. "They're on top academically out of a lot of big time Big East schools and they're getting really, really good with some really good recruits and it's good to jump on board … There is no chance that [I am going to decommit]."


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