Rutgers coach Kyle Flood formally announced the addition of five freshmen to his spring roster. With the spring semester at Rutgers University underway, the Scarlet Knights have early enrollees at a variety of key positions.
Highlighted by four-star cornerback Nadir Barnwell, Rutgers formally announced the additions of Barnwell, quarterback Chris Laviano, linebacker Lester Liston, cornerback Delon Stephenson and running back Dontea Ayres.
With the lack of depth at defensive back going into the spring, Barnwell and Stephenson will be candidates for early playing time. Both local prospects, Barnwell of Piscataway and Stephenson of Sayreville began classes last week.
Barnwell underwent shoulder surgery in early January and will not practice this spring.
Laviano joins the program out of Holy Trinity (Hicksville, N.Y.). He is the first quarterback to enroll early since Steve Shimko in 2008.
Ayres provides key depth at running back with the loss of Jawan Jamison to the NFL and Liston does the same with starting linebackers Steve Beauharnais and Khaseem Greene gone from last season. Liston originally hails from Michigan, but spent the Fall prepping for Rutgers at Hargrave Military Academy.
Rutgers will not, however, have former punter commit Dean Crozier. Crozier will not enroll at Rutgers this semester and is ineligible to play for any NCAA team. The Scarlet Knights are expected to pursue a punter before the start of the season, but still have Anthony DiPaula on scholarship at the position.