Derwin Gray, who switched from Dunbar High (Washington, D.C.) to Edison-Friendship High (Washington, D.C.) about five weeks ago, holds close to two dozen offers, and one of his first came from Rutgers.
"I always had extra love for Rutgers," Gray said. "I know coach (Greg) Schiano and (assistant) coach (P.J.) Fleck left to go coach in the NFL. I know they had to do what is the best for them …but I thought that could be the place for me at the end of the day out of all these schools, even with Florida and Florida State."
One thing working in Rutgers' favor is Gray's relationship with new coach Kyle Flood.
When the 6-foot-5, 282-pound Gray attended Rutgers' Big Man Academy in June, he was coached by Flood and the two hit it off. Gray returned to campus a few weeks later for another camp and again enjoyed being coached by Flood.
However, Gray wants to establish a relationship with new Rutgers offensive line coach Damian Wroblewsi.
"I'm real cool with coach Flood. He's my o-line coach," Gray said with a laugh. "I like him a lot, too. But it's hard because he's the head coach and you're barely going to see him. You're going to deal mostly with the offensive line coach."
He also is trying to make another visit to Rutgers.
"Coach Fleck was always coming to my school and making sure I was good," Gray said. "He was like a father figure at the same time.
"We need to rebuild with it. We have to start all over and rebuild the relationship and go from there."