RU grabs 12th commitment

Rutgers landed its 12th commitment of the 2010 recruiting class, and he spoke to first about his decision. He can play either offensive or defensive line, and was being looked at by several other Big East schools. Find out why he chose the Scarlet Knights.

Rutgers received its 12 th commitment for the class of 2010 today when Downingtown East (Exton, Pa.) lineman Taj Alexander pledged to the Scarlet Knights.

The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Alexander was on the Rutgers campus Monday, and after speaking with his family and Downingtown East coach Michael Matta, he called Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano to give his non-binding oral commitment.

Alexander can play either defensive tackle, defensive end or offensive tackle. He said it really wasn't talked about much, but right now he is penciled in on defense.

"I just talked to my head coach about it and talked to mom about it and decided Rutgers was the place for me,'' Alexander said. "They have a great program there.

"On my visit Monday, I liked a lot of things I saw, from academic help, to everyone treated me well, and the coaches want to win a national championship. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?''

Alexander's recruitment intensified lately, after his coach sent out a highlight DVD of the first part of his senior season.

He quickly gained interest from Rutgers, Connecticut, Maryland and West Virginia, but felt at home going with the Scarlet Knights.

Alexander's statistics are gaudy this season. He has 17 sacks and 24 tackles for loss.

"This is very exciting for me and my family, as well as teammates and coaches,'' Alexander said. "I work really hard. I felt like I had a lot of potential and to play Division I football at a school like this is very exciting.

"As far as the recruiting it happened quickly, but making my decision was very easy. I like what Rutgers is about.''

In Alexander, Rutgers is also getting the defensive lineman of the year in the Ches-Mont League.

"He's the best of kids. He's a terrific kid, a hard-working kid,'' Matta said. "I think he has a tremendous upside. The player Rutgers is getting isn't even tapped into what he can become.

"Going from 6-foot to 6-foot-5, I don't think he was ready right away. He was a little clumsy, and it took him time to grow into his body and get comfortable. He went in the weight room and did a great job and came back strong and ready to go.''

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