QB Bimonte Ready for Rutgers Visit

Manalapan High (Englishtown, N.J.) quarterback Mike Bimonte will be on Rutgers' campus Tuesday for an unofficial visit, and for what he hopes will be the extension of a formal offer. Bimonte spoke with ScarletReport.com about what he is looking for on the visit, and whether he could commit if Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano extends an offer. Come inside to learn what Bimonte had to say.

Like so many other Jerseyans, Rutgers seeped into the consciousness of Mike Bimonte during the 2006 season, and it remained there.

Now, he may have the opportunity to play for the Scarlet Knights, if things go well during his unofficial visit Tuesday.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Bimonte holds an offer from Temple, and was close to committing to Owls coach Al Golden until the Scarlet Knights invited him to campus so they could get to know him better, and he could learn more about the school.

Although not a given, often such invites lead to offers, and Bimonte could get one from Rutgers some point during his day-long visit, which will begin approximately 9 a.m.

"If Rutgers offers me on Tuesday, then I have to come back home and talk about it with my family and stuff, and my coaches and see what's a better fit," Bimonte said. "I wouldn't commit that day. I'd have to go back home and talk about it with my family and just make sure it's the best fit for me."

While Rutgers has a checklist of what it wants to learn about Bimonte, it works both ways. There are things Bimonte wants to learn about.

Most of Bimonte's communication has been with Rutgers assistant Robb Smith, who recruits Manalapan High, but he hasn't had much contact with coach Greg Schiano and quarterbacks coach Kirk Ciarrocca.

"I want to see the actual facilities and where my best fit is for football, but I also have academics in mind," he said. "What am I going to study? Where do they rank? It's not just where is the best fit for me football-wise. It's academics as well."

Bimonte wants to major in sports marketing. He said Temple offers it, but Rutgers does not. He has kept Temple informed about what is transpiring, but acknowledged the Owls are hoping for closure in the situation.

"I spoke to Temple again and told them I'm going to take a couple of days to kind of wait and see what happens at Rutgers this week," Bimonte said. "If they don't offer me Tuesday, then I think I'm pretty much going to commit. They've been pretty cool about this thing, but they want me there."

Bimonte was born in Brooklyn but his family moved to New Jersey when he was 4-years-old. The Scarlet Knights were always in the news, but he said it wasn't until 2006 that he began following them closely.

"I know they were not a well-known program until the '06 season when they had (quarterback) Mike Teel and everybody, and they kind of put themselves on the map that year," he said. "That's when I really started watching and became a Rutgers fans."

Bimonte was less familiar with Temple's past, but he researched it and gained an understanding for what Golden has done with the Philadelphia school.

"They were really at the low point until coach Golden got there and they kind of worked their way up," Bimonte said. "Last year they were 9-3, and they played UCLA in a bowl game. They're a school that is making fast, quick jumps and heading in the right direction."

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