Perception change for Jersey Shore Athlete

Matawan High athlete Jared Allison is hearing much more from Rutgers recently, and his appreciation and interest in the school changed after he attended Junior Day. He said friends were telling him one thing about the school, but he experienced something totally different during the day's events.

Friends were telling Jared Allison about the vastness of Rutgers University, of the five campuses and how it could be difficult getting around.

The Matawan (N.J.) High defensive back/quarterback began to believe it, and it factored into his thinking towards Rutgers. That is, until the 5-foot-8, 170-pound Allison got to experience Rutgers' Junior Day.

"It changed it a lot,'' Allison said. "I didn't expect it to be like that. I thought it was going to be different, but as I got to go around the school and talk to a few players, and their take on the school, I liked it.''

The Scarlet Knights are high on Allison, who was told recruiting coordinator Joe Susan and/or head coach Greg Schiano would be stopping by Matawan High in the near future.

But his visit to Rutgers opened his eyes. Allison had been to games at Rutgers Stadium, but those events don't allow for a tour of the school, and for recruits to experience first-hand the different campuses.

"I liked it a lot,'' Allison said. "I heard that the school was spread out because they have five different campuses, but when they toured us around, I realized the stuff wasn't as far as people said it was. I liked the school a lot.''

As many recruits already said, the day dealt markedly more with explaining the academic features of Rutgers rather than the football program to the assembled players and parents.

However, in addition to the academic focus, players were able to tour the football facilities, speak with members of the coaching staff and hold a Q&A with current Rutgers players.

"We got there, ate, listened to the head coach talk and after him there was (an academic) person talk, '' Allison said. "Then, we went on a tour and they showed us the locker room areas, the dorms and where we'll be eating at.

"Then we went back to the main room and got to talk to some players, then the head coach talked and we left.''

Allison is being recruited Connecticut, Boston College and Syracuse as well as the Scarlet Knights, but could see his suitors pick up since his junior tape is yet to make the rounds.

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