Kirksey, Mera Learn Eligibility Fates

Wednesday was a mixed day of emotions for a pair of Rutgers recruits from the 2010 class. One member learned he was eligible and is readying to head to New Jersey. The other did not get such good news, but all of it was not bad concerning himself and Rutgers. has answers as to what happened, and what will happen in the coming months with both players. Go inside to find out.

It was a mixed day for a pair of Rutgers signees from Florida as defensive tackle Kenneth Kirksey learned he made the grade, but defensive end Djwany Mera will have to wait a little longer to be a Scarlet Knight.

Kirksey, who is from Mainland High in Daytona Beach, is trying to get to Rutgers within the next week, but his arrival date has not yet been decided.

Mera, who is from South Broward High in Hollywood, missed a qualifying ACT score by one point. He will not enroll in a prep school or junior college, according to his coach, Alan Held.

Instead, Mera will continue to take the ACT and SATs in the fall and plans on enrolling at Rutgers in the winter.

"He's upset about it," Held said. "Our first talk was with Rutgers, and they still want him. He's going to re-take the test in the fall. No prep school, no junior college. He's going to stay with Rutgers."

Held added he will continue to help Mera in the fall.

"He had a 3.0 GAP, but he didn't get the test score," Held said. "We talked about what to do. Obviously, we'll work on the test score with him, and I told him he can come work out with the football team in the fall."

If there is a silver lining for the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Mera, it is that he was likely going to red-shirt the upcoming season. If he enrolls in January, it will allow him the opportunity to take part in spring practice before playing in the 2011 season.

"That's exactly what I told him," Held said.

As for Kirksey, the 6-foot-2, 275-pounder was absolutely giddy upon learning the news.

"I found out about a minute ago," he told "I made it. I qualified. It feels great. As soon as I got the news, I was more than happy about being able to go up there. I feel great."

Kirksey said he is sending his transcripts to Rutgers today, and he should hear shortly when he will be able to travel to the school.

"I think my mom is throwing me a surprise party, but it's not really a surprise because I know about it," Kirksey said. "But I'm happy. All my family members are going to be there. Nothing can ruin my day."

The journey to gain eligibility was not easy, though. Kirksey had to make up class work and improve his test score. The increased studying came at the expense of working out and training to get ready for training camp, but the tradeoff is well worth it. He was able to lift weights, but his cardio training suffered.

"I had to do a lot of work," Kirksey said. "I never took so many tests in my life, and I passed them all."

Now, Kirksey is turning his attention to the football field and trying to earn playing time as a freshman.

"I do want to play right away," Kirksey said. "But if I red-shirt this year, that would be good because I want to stay for five years and get my master's (degree). But I do want to start. I'm going to work hard to try and start."

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