Rutgers in Review: Top Sleepers

Giovanni Rescigno

Rutgers has its 2014 class signed, and now moves ahead to the class of 2015. Taking a look back at National Signing Day, ScarletReport.com looks at the top sleepers in the Rutgers recruiting class.

5. Kissimme (Fla.) Gateway CB Isaiah Wharton -- Wharton would have been higher, but he became less of a sleeper in the final week before National Signing Day. When Rutgers first got serious about Wharton – a December in-home visit from assistant Jim Panagos – he was a Weber State de-commit with some Indiana interest. In the month that followed, Indiana, Southern Miss and UCF pushed hard for Wharton, but he stayed solid to Rutgers. Wharton should be able to outplay his ranking (151st cornerback in the class) because of the way he uses his body. He brings the tall, rangy look desired from big-time corners and has quick enough feet and hips to make an impact.

4. Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School LB Brandon Russell -- The key here is locking up Russell early. At the time of Russell's commitment, he was an unknown linebacker from a small Florida school. Rutgers got to see him during his first semester at University School thanks to the spring evaluation period. He developed well in his year at the Fort Lauderdale powerhouse, and enrolls early at a position of need. 3. Rumson (N.J.) Fair Haven DE Donald Bedell -- If you were building a Big Ten defensive end, this is where you want to start. Bedell has size at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds. He has explosion off the line of scrimmage. He has aggressiveness. The trick for Rutgers, which got a steal here against minimal competition, is to develop him. Bedell has tools, but needs to get coached up to hone in his aggressiveness and technique. Bedell was a true edge rusher that showed an ability to get to the quarterback. Rutgers needs that.

2. Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee CB Darian Dailey -- When you find a high-character kid with 4.39 speed and a 5-foot-11 frame, you make a move on him. Dailey ran a 4.39 laser time at a Florida State camp, but was not on the radar of the "big three" in Florida. Rutgers coach Kyle Flood flipped Dailey from a Tulane commitment less than a week ago. Dailey received the least attention, and lowest ranking, of the Rutgers defensive backs. His athleticism could turn him into one of the more productive prospects in the class.

1. Warren (Mich.) De La Salle QB Giovanni Rescigno -- Rescigno had one offer – Rutgers. Why? By the time Rescigno showcased his talents, spots at quarterback filled up across the country. Rescigno had walk-on interest and attention from smaller schools, but most programs (including Rutgers) already had "their quarterback" before he made his first career start as a senior in September. Rescigno is not a five-star kid, or instant four-year starter in the Big Ten. But given the situation in which Rutgers found itself midway through January, Rescigno is a home run. He has mobility, which is a nice change-up from the active roster, and he will not be thrown into action before he is ready like Chas Dodd or Gary Nova. Losing Tyler Wiegers was devastating to Rutgers at the time. But after adding Rescigno and Phillip Nelson, it is more of an afterthought in the 2014 recruiting class. Rescigno may be years from the field – and that is perfectly fine. He may never be a starter with the depth at the position. But he is worthy of the top sleeper of the 2014 recruiting class.

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