2014 Recruiting Needs: Defense

Newly committed Justin Nelson

Rutgers is well recruiting the class of 2014 and added its second verbal commitment this afternoon. Heading into a crucial recruiting month, the spring evaluation period, ScarletReport.com is here to break down the recruiting needs for Rutgers as it transitions into the Big Ten Conference.

Concluding tonight with the needs on the defensive side of the ball, ScarletReport.com ranks the Rutgers position-by-position needs from least to most important in the class of 2014.

Defensive Tackle (1) -- Rutgers added quality defensive tackles in the class of 2013 and has other young talents in the program highlighted by former five star Darius Hamilton. Rutgers could use more depth at the position, but it is not a position of major concern. Rutgers currently has eight defensive tackles with at least two more years of eligibility.

Safety (1-2) -- Rutgers has strong potential and eligibility on its roster with guys like Davon Jacobs, Sheldon Royster and Lorenzo Waters just getting started. It also has two impressive freshmen in T.J. Taylor and Bryant Gross-Armiento coming in and multiple corners that could move to safety.

Rutgers often plays three safeties and should look to add one in this class to develop alongside Taylor and Gross-Armiento.

Defensive end (2-3) -- Justin Nelson of DePaul (Wayne, N.J.) is a nice start at the "R" position but Rutgers needs to add more top-level pass rushers off the edge. Kemoko Turay has the potential out of the 2013 class, but Rutgers lost three of its top ends this year and failed to flip Ade Aruna before Signing Day.

With hybrid LB/DE type athletes in Nelson, Myles Nash and Nick Internicola, Rutgers has to bring in a pure defensive end to follow guys like Marcus Thompson.

Cornerback (2-3) -- You can never have enough cornerbacks and for a program with zero established depth, Rutgers must continue to bring in capable prospects with the move to the Big Ten imminent.

The numbers are there in what will be one of the greenest cornerback groups in recent years, but top-level corners are always a high priority and Rutgers will keep digging for the next Devin McCourty and the next Logan Ryan.

Linebacker (3) -- Rutgers lost out on the race for Skai Moore in 2012 and did not sign a middle linebacker in the class. Yes, there are multiple capable young players in the program that can play in the middle but Rutgers does not have enough linebackers across the board and must strengthen the position group.

Quanzel Lambert, Steve Longa. Nash and Lester Liston can all be multi-year starters. Rutgers chose not to bring in a last-minute linebacker last year after losing out on Moore and that makes it a top priority moving forward.

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