Pride in choosing the Scarlet Knights

Matt McBride

Hofstra offensive lineman Matt McBride was devastated to learn his school was dropping football, but a few hours later Rutgers was on the phone and his recruitment was under way. After taking an official visit this weekend, McBride was offered and accepted a scholarship to Rutgers, the school he wanted to go to out of Holy Trinity High in Hicksville, N.Y.

Four hours after being told Hofstra was dropping its football program, a member of the Rutgers coaching staff was talking to Pride offensive lineman Matt McBride.

It wasn't a vulture-type call, but rather one born through a connection.

Rutgers offensive line coach Kyle Flood knows a few members of the Hofstra coaching staff, and when news broke about the school dropping football, Flood called to see how things were going.

He was given McBride's name, and a few days later McBride capped an incredibly emotional cycle by committing to Rutgers during an official visit.

"It is bittersweet,'' McBride said. "I feel very lucky. I'm going from a Division I-AA to a Division I-A program. I know others may not have that opportunity.''

McBride, who is 6-foot-6, 290 pounds, said he will enroll at Rutgers in January. He has four years of eligibility remaining.

And he also is heading to the place he considered his top destination while he played at Holy Trinity High in Hicksville, N.Y.

"In high school, Rutgers is where I wanted to go,'' McBride said. "When they offered me, that's where I wanted to go. In high school, I thought it was a good fit for me, it was close to home. It felt like a place I wanted to go.''

McBride attended a big man camp at Rutgers, but he didn't receive an offer.

And according to Pride running game coordinator and offensive line coach Bill Durkin, it took a strong showing at a few summer camps and a nice senior season to get him at Hofstra.

"I saw him on his junior tape and didn't like it,'' Durkin said. "I knew how big he was so you keep an eye on him, and at the one day camp at Hofstra he was good. I also saw him at Rutgers' big man camp and he did better, and Rutgers was close to moving on him.''

However, McBride lacked strength.

"He needed a year in the weight room,'' Durkin said. "I think the whole thing with him is he doesn't know how to handle his body yet. He has body control. He just needs to develop the strength to move it faster.

"He's a great kid, tremendous prospect. He's got a ton of potential and moves well.''

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