The Scarlet Knights will open its $5 million recruiting lounge by welcoming a number of unofficial visits and seven players taking official visits to Rutgers.
It was going to be eight players, but Rutgers cancelled the visit of Pahokee (Fla.) defensive tackle Richard Ash, after word leaked out he committed to West Virginia a week ago.
ScarletReport.com give a brief synopsis on each player visiting, and gives a key of what to look for at the conclusion of each person's visit.
WR Brandon Coleman, Bishop McNamara High (Forestville, Md.)
ScarletReport.com's take: The 6-foot-6, 200-pound Coleman is a dynamic player. His size makes for a difficult matchup for defensive backs, his long strides makes him deceptively fast and his is too fast for a linebacker to cover. But the big question is whether he remains a receiver in college. He said if he outgrows the receiver position, he will move to tight end.
What to look for: Don't expect a commitment to Rutgers, although his recruitment seems to be heading that way. Rutgers remains the leader, but when asked Thursday if he could commit this weekend, he said, "No."
RB Mustafa Greene, Irmo High (Columbia, S.C.)
ScarletReport.com's take: The 6-foot-0, 200-pound Greene has a combination of power and speed that could fit in quickly into the backfield. He missed about half of the season because of an ankle injury, but he can catch the ball out of the backfield, run between the tackles and also get to the outside. He also has a natural feel for running the ball.
What to look for: This is one of Rutgers' best chances to land a commitment on this first recruiting weekend. Greene has long favored the Scarlet Knights, although North Carolina State made a recent run, but this is a chance for Rutgers to close the deal.
OL Shane Johnson, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)
ScarletReport.com's take: Rutgers isn't really in the market for another offensive lineman …unless it is someone of Johnson's caliber. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Johnson is the type of player you make room for in the program. He is athletic and can pull and be effective on the move, and is a smart player. Strength is something he needs to improve on, but that is true about pretty much every freshman.
What to look for: Johnson will take his share of visits, and the Scarlet Knights are not in front, but his strong friendship with Coleman and an ability to play early could be factors.
WR Tim Smith, Central High (Fort Pierce, Fla.)
ScarletReport.com's take: The 6-foot, 180-pound Smith is a bit under the radar because he is a converted quarterback who played receiver for the first time this season. His 4.6 40-yard time is misleading because he has no track experience, but he is usually one of the fastest guys on the field. He has shown the ability to catch the ball and, according to his high school coach, runs good patterns. One question is character, which came into question when Smith was suspended in training camp.
What to look for: Smith needs a good personal showing. His mom wants him to go out of state, and he said he favors Rutgers if he will leave the state. Smith is the best chance for a commit from the weekend, but only if the personal questions are answered in a positive way.
RB/LB Marcus Thompson, Boyd Anderson High (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.)
(Committed to Rutgers)
ScarletReport.com's take: The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Thompson is the surprise of the recruiting class, if only from the standpoint questions of whether his recruitment would stick surfaced the moment he announced he committed to Rutgers. He had a solid year as a running back, but his speed and hitting ability on defense is what the Scarlet Knights staff likes the best. He can run and cover in space, if need be.
What to look for: Thompson just needs to have a good time and not worry about the cold. He could rally some of the Florida kids to commit, and form a bond that could shape the recruiting class.
ScarletReport.com's take: The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Turner is durable, and likes the contact associated with running between the tackles. He has shown an ability to hit the hole with a burst. He ran for 2,400 yards and scored more than 30 touchdowns as a senior, so his recruitment is just beginning. His motivation for visiting Rutgers is simple: He knows Rutgers will run the ball as much as possible, and he believes he can carry the ball 25 to 30 times a game.
What to look for: This is a feel ‘em out visit. Since it is Turner's first, the Scarlet Knights can make the all-important first impression, and set them up as the team to beat. However, it may be tough to get Turner to go to school so far from home.
S Lorenzo Waters, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)
ScarletReport.com's take: The 6-foot, 190-pound Waters likes to hit, and hit hard. He pursues the ball and welcomes contact. He is a good tackler who can play with speed, and is quick to understand defenses. He also can be effective on the blitz, and moves well.
What to look for: Waters favors Miami because of his affinity for the school, but Rutgers has a chance. The Scarlet Knights have been recruiting him the hardest, and that is why Waters is making the visit. Rutgers has a chance to really move up on Waters' list.