Downingtown East (Exton, Pa.) tight end Tyler Kroft
had a Junior Day filled with the unexpected.
He toured Rutgers' facilities, learned more about the academic success of the school, and ended Rutgers' Junior Day by learning he would be getting a written offer Monday.
"It's probably too early for (a favorite), but seeing the campus, I really like Rutgers now,'' the 6-foot-4 ½, 215-pound Kroft said. "I was there once before, but until today I didn't get a chance for a full walk-around and to meet all the coaches.''
Kroft, a teammate of Rutgers commit Taj Alexander, holds an offer from West Virginia. He is being recruited by Pittsburgh, Maryland, Temple and Syracuse as well, but was taken aback when he learned Rutgers was sending a written offer.
"It was mostly a surprise,'' Kroft said. "I didn't think I was going to get one this soon. If I was going to get an offer, it wasn't going to be until early next year. My coach said if I'm lucky, I would get one in May.
"I like the school a lot. The last five years they went to a bowl game, and the last four they won the bowl game. It's the people there, the coaching staff is real nice, and it feels comfortable and it's easy to be around, and it's still challenging academic-wise.''
The day was broken into segments, with players getting measured ("I think I shrunk,'' Kroft said jokingly) and eating lunch before getting down to serious business.
"They put us in our individual recruiting groups,'' Kroft said, "and walked us around and showed us the campus, all the study halls, the dining halls, the weight rooms and all the training facilities. Then, we came back and got to talk to a few of the players.''
After players such as quarterback Tom Savage and receiver Mohamed Sanu talked to the assembled recruits and held a Q&A session, coach Greg Schiano addressed the group again, according to Kroft.
"This gave me a chance to meet everybody, get know people even more,'' Kroft said.
On the field, the offers and attention should pick up.
Kroft amassed close to 700 yards receiving and had 11 touchdowns as a receiver, and his blocking is developing. However, there is no question which is further developed.
"Definitely my hands right now,'' Kroft said while laughing. "(Blocking) isn't terrible, but I'm clearly better catching the ball than blocking.''
Kroft plans on traveling to junior days at Pittsburgh and West Virginia next month, but is getting recruited hard from Alexander, who will be enrolling at Rutgers in the summer.
"We talked about it a lot,'' Kroft said. "He wants me to come up. He wants me to meet everybody.''
Football coaches aren't the only ones noticing Kroft's athleticism and size. He is a midfielder on Downingtown East's lacrosse team, and could become a big recruit.
"I think I'm all right, but I got a letter to go the Blue Chip camp, which the top 120 kids in the nation go to one camp,'' he said. "I didn't think I was that good. I played last year, but I didn't get that much time, but I got the invitation.''
Rutgers held its Junior Day on Saturday with many of the areas top players making the trek to campus. Some were fortunate to leave with the good news they would be getting written offers very soon from the Scarlet Knights, and one such player is a tight end from Pennsylvania. The player talks about Junior Day, what he now thinks of Rutgers and much more.
Pa. Tight end to get Rutgers offer
Player said he was told at Junior Day an offer would be faxed Monday, and he gives his thoughts ...