TS: If you would have told me two years ago that this was going to happen for David, I would have honestly been surprised. David has improved by leaps and bounds. And he has not reached his potential. He is far from tapping out. He is a quiet kid; not much of a yeller. But he is a really hard worker and just outworks kids. Rutgers noticed that he was a kid that was likely going to get a good number of offers as the season progressed. They wanted to lock him up now. They really liked his work ethic and told me they thought he was coachable and had a lot of upside.
SOR: When did David start playing football?
TS: He started in the 9th grade. This will be his fourth year playing football.
SOR: Talk about how wrestling has impacted his play on the football field
TS: The issue with wrestling for him is that it has kept him from gaining weight. So when you look at him on film, he does not seem like that big offensive lineman type. But wrestling has made him very tough. To be a two-time State Qualifier at HWT in Pennsylvania, you have to be pretty tough and disciplined. It has also helped him with his feet and leverage. His feet, leverage and toughness are very good.
SOR: How big is David right now?
TS: He is a legit 6’4” and he weighed in today at 253 lbs. And that is considering that he was at wrestling camp last week. He has put on some good weight and made solid gains in the weight room. He is looking very lean and cut. Plus he has gained about 1 ½ to 2 inches since last year and I think he is not finished growing.
SOR: Talk about the gains he has made in the weight room
TS: David is a strong kid. He has maxed out at 300 lbs on the bench press. But he is not going to wow you with his bench press and be one of these 500 lb bench press kids. He is a long armed kid- 32 inches. Most NFL tackles are in the 34” range. He can squat in the 500 lb range. But what impresses me is that he is power clean over 250 lbs. To do well in that event, you have to be pretty athletic. That is a testament to his athleticism at this stage.
SOR: Do you think he has the body to gain the weight to be a top line OL in the Big East
TS: I definitely think he can. I think he will have no problem reporting next year at 275-280 range. He has a brother who played for me a few years ago and is now at Muhlenberg College. He left here at 6’2 260. Now is at 6’4 305 pounds and looks good. He is not the athlete David is. But I think it shows that David has it in his genes to have that potential to grow.
SOR: What position will he play at Rutgers?
TS: Rutgers is looking to play him on the interior line. They are talking either Center or Offensive Guard. He has good athleticism, strength and leverage to play either position. I think he can also play tackle. He plays RT for us. We threw the ball over 300 times last year and he did not give up one sack. He has quick feet and the arm length that I think he could play out there. He extends his arms very well and plays with balance. He is a versatile guy and that is one of the things they really liked about him.
SOR: When did Rutgers decide that they liked him?
TS: There was a camp/combine event at Lafayette in May called the 1st and Goal and he did really well there. They found out about him and had been recruiting him since. He then attended their big man camp and they liked him. He has been recruited by Coach Ciarrocca through the summer and Coach Schiano asked him and his dad to come up last Friday. Coach Schiano wanted to meet him and see what kind of person he was.
David had a very good trip. He connected very well with the people there. He came home and told me he could really envision himself playing at Rutgers. He had a great feel on the visit.
He told me it was the right distance from home. The school has gotten great National Exposure and was a good fit. We got a call from Coach Ciarrocca yesterday and he stated they wanted him to be a part of the team and offered him a scholarship. Coach Ciarrocca wanted him to commit and play for them. David officially made the commitment today.
SOR: What other schools were involved?