RU Keeping Tabs on Commit Page's teammates

Christopher Columbus High defensive tackle Al Page committed to Rutgers last month, but it may not be the last time Scarlet Knights fans here about a 2011 prospect at the Bronx, N.Y., school. A pair of teammates already made a pair of trips to Rutgers in April, and both said they were going to camp at Rutgers in June. Find out what they have to say, and what is going on with their recruitments.

The attention Rutgers commit Al Page received in his recruitment could be beneficial for a few of his Christopher Columbus High (Bronx, N.Y.) teammates, particularly as it pertains to the Scarlet Knights.

When Page visited Rutgers' campus in early April, he brought teammates Robert Mervin and Jonathan Reyes. And when he came to the spring game, Rutgers extended invitations to Mervin and Reyes, both of whom said they will camp at Rutgers in June, to join him.

Mervin is an intriguing prospect because of his size and inexperience. He is 6-foot-1, 250 pounds, and played running back and linebacker last season, his first as a high school player.

"(Rutgers) was looking at me, and telling me because of my size, instead of playing linebacker, I would play defensive end,'' Mervin said. "And if my speed is up to par, I would be able to play running back. At the spring game I got to speak to the defensive line coach (Randy Melvin) and the recruiting coach (offensive line coach Kyle Flood). They told me they would speak to me in May when they come to the school.''

Because Mervin played only one season, and was on an 0-9 Blue Steel team playing in what isn't considered a hotbed of recruiting, his visibility wasn't high.

However, he averaged 5.7 yards per carry and totaled 743 rushing yards, but his top-end speed may not be what recruiters are looking for in a running back, which is why defense is his likely destination in college.

"I want to work on being faster, and more focused in the classroom,'' Mervin said. "I need a little work (with grades), but it is getting better. My transcript is actually good, but I'm capable of doing better so I'm pushing that.

"Schools are trying to figure me out now because it's kind of a late thing when I started playing.'' The 6-foot, 200-pound Reyes shared time in Christopher Columbus' backfield with Mervin.

He also plays linebacker, and like Mervin, has been hearing from Rutgers and Maryland.

"(Rutgers) was telling me to keep working hard and keep going,'' Reyes said. "My coach (David Diaz) told me when I got to the camp, they would see how well I did at their drills and they would test my 40. They told me the things I need to do.

"My coach told me they like my tape, and they see I'm a good player and they look forward to see how I do next season.''

Despite Page being committed to Rutgers, his visibility could open recruiting doors for Mervin and Reyes at other programs.

"The fact that he was being recruited by a lot of schools is actually good for me and the rest of my teammates,'' Reyes said. "They're looking at him and see the tape, and they see the rest of his teammates and might actually like us.''

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