Aiken Rates Rutgers

Chaminade Madonna Prep (Hollywood, Fla.) cornerback Johnathan Aiken had a strong showing when he camped at Rutgers this week, and upon returning home he spoke with about the impression the school made. Aiken discussed where the Scarlet Knights rank among his favorites, his plans for the rest of the summer and what he got out of meeting with coach Greg Schiano several times.

The most physical and aggressive cornerback to camp at Rutgers was Chaminade Madonna Prep's (Hollywood, Fla.) Johnathan Aiken, and the same way he attacked receivers was how he after his visit.

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound safety-turned-corner spent little more than a day on campus, but came away impressed and feeling good about the Scarlet Knights.

"I told my coaches and I told my uncles, who will be a big part of my college decision-making, that Rutgers is a school I could play for," Aiken said. "I see myself there. I see myself living in that town, close to New York.

"They were already in the top five. They moved to the top one or two. I told me head coach, and he knows. I've been telling everybody, so everybody knows. I told everybody I was keeping an open mind, and that's where I could see myself at right now."

It was Aiken's first trip to New Jersey, and it didn't take him long to get acclimated.

He landed Sunday night and went straight to campus, where he was introduced to several members of the coaching staff.

"Coach Fleck already knew I could play, but he just wanted to get me up there so I could meet the whole coaching staff," Aiken said. "I didn't know what to expect. I started meeting coaches right off the bat, and I saw the school and a coach took me on a tour. It's a nice campus. I went in with an open mind, and it was really nice."

Aiken created plenty of highlights on the field with his ability to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage and also keep tight coverage down the field.

Among the marquee matchups was a few battles with Long Branch (N.J) High's Miles Shuler, who Aiken knew as the fastest player in New Jersey.

But off the field Aiken also accomplished plenty.

"I met with coach Schiano a few times," he said. "The first meeting we had, we just talked about ourselves. We didn't even talk about football. We talked about his childhood growing up, and his family and my family.

"Several other meetings we had, then we conversed about football and stuff, but we had a lot of good conversations."

Rutgers was his first unofficial visit of the summer, and the only other one he has planned is to UCLA since he will be in the area visiting his brother, who is stationed at Camp Pendleton.

"When I start my official visits, it's going to be Rutgers, UCLA, Nebraska and maybe West Virginia and somebody else," said Aiken, who holds more than a dozen offers.

Scarlet Report Top Stories