Big Man Academy Recap

Rutgers held its annual Big Man Academy at Rutgers Stadium on Saturday. The event was highlighted by the commitment of Sayreville High (Parlin, N.J.) defensive tackle Daryle Stephenson, but more took place than just that. Several of the players in attendance, including Rutgers commit Al Page and high-priority offensive lineman Josue Matias, spoke to about the event.

Rutgers commit Al Page of Christopher Columbus High (Bronx, N.Y.) was the top performer among the defensive lineman and Union (N.J.) Hill High's Josue Matias out-shined the other offensive lineman at Saturday's Big Man Academy at Rutgers Stadium.

The event was highlight by the commitment of Sayreville High (Parlin, N.J.) defensive tackle Daryle Stephenson, and the day gave players a chance to compete against one another.

"The camp went great and Josue was the best out there," Page said. "He's strong and fast. It was awesome. Josue was a standout and Daryl was a stand out as well."

Matias was matched up against Page on numerous occasions, and came away impressed. "The toughest guy had to be Al Page," Matias said. "He's really strong."

Matias, like many of the offensive linemen, got a chance to receive instruction from Scarlet Knights offensive line coach Kyle Flood.

"I learned a lot of technique on pass protection," Matias said. "He's a great, cool guy. I was there with him last year, but this year was different because he helped me with some things right away. He helped me with keeping my foot in and keeping my knee over my toes, and stuff like that."

Willingboro (N.J.) High's Kyle George is a newcomer to the recruiting scene. He scored a Rutgers offer during a visit to the school a week ago, and returned to showcase his skills in the event.

"I did all right. I did decent," George said. "I learned some basic skills, and how to do some certain techniques. Overall, it was a good experience."

While each of the aforementioned players long ago received scholarship offers, other players were hoping to impress the staff and increase their stock.

One such player was offensive lineman Vince Kowalski of Williamstown (N.J.) High.

"I learned a lot on pass-blocking technique," Kowalski said. "My team really doesn't pass, so I was a little rusty on that. It was a hot day, 125 degrees on the turf, but it was a good day. It didn't seem that hot out there.

"I learned a lot with pass blocking, and I learned a lot with my footwork. They were showing me about technique and stuff like that.''

Now, Kowalski will wait and see whether his performance was strong enough to merit an offer.

"If they offered me, that would be great," he said. "If they said, ‘Hey, we're not ready to offer yet. We'd like you to come back up,' I think I definitely would. It's close enough, and it's a good school. We'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks when I hear back from the coaches."

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