Rutgers Target Focusing on Football

The Pennington (N.J.) School's Anthony Gaffney once considered basketball his first sport, but he said he is now focusing on playing football in college. He is getting strong interest from Rutgers, and is also being recruited by other Big East and ACC schools. Gaffney discusses why he switched from basketball to football as his sport of choice, and reveals how Rutgers fits into the equation.

For a while The Pennington (N.J.) School's Anthony Gaffney fashioned himself a basketball player who played football, but his mindset changed recently.

Gaffney now plans on playing football in college, and Rutgers is one of the schools recruiting the 6-foot-2, 180-pound receiver the most.

"They're one of the first schools that contacted me,'' Gaffney said. "I came up for junior day and got to talk to (former assistant) coach (Joe) Susan a little bit, and (assistant) coach (Robb) Smith as well. I didn't realize they had a real nice facility. It's pretty big.

"They've got a great team that's on the rise. I think coach (Greg) Schiano has them going in the right direction.''

Gaffney is also being recruited by Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Maryland, but his recruiting is just starting to turn interesting.

He doesn't have an offer, and part of the reason was confusion over which sport he wanted to pursue in college. He considered himself a basketball player, and didn't attend any football camps last offseason.

After a strong junior season on the gridiron, Gaffney is committed to playing football in college.

"I still love playing basketball, but I found out I had a better chance with football,'' Gaffney said. "That's why I ended up making the switch. Basketball is Patriot League, maybe Ivy League, but football I'm getting Big East and ACC looks, so I ended up changing my focus to football.''

Gaffney, who participated in the BadgerSport 7-on-7, powered by New Level Athletics, last month at Rutgers, plans on attending several camps this offseason to increase his visibility. Rutgers, Connecticut, Virginia and Maryland are among the schools he is contemplating camping at.

"I don't think I've been out their long enough,'' Gaffney said. "I've kind of been under the radar. I'm hoping because I had such a good year people will start to recognize me. I really haven't shined. I'm like a diamond in the rough.''

It is at such camps Gaffney is hoping recruiters get a better appreciation for his all-around skill.

"I'm not the fastest, not the biggest, but I think I still have the tools to make it to the next level,'' said Gaffney, who runs 4.5 (seconds) in the 40-yard dash. "One of my big things is I like being versatile, so I play receiver, I play running back, I return punts, I return kicks. One of the biggest things I have going for me is my versatility.''

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