Some of the top offensive and defensive linemen in the region, including four players holding Rutgers offers, will be on the Scarlet Knights’ campus this weekend to take part in the inaugural BadgerSport Elite Lineman Challenge, presented by New Level Athletics.
While the Scarlet Knights’ coaching staff cannot attend, it will give some of the best line talent in the region a chance to experience some of Rutgers’ facilities, including the Bubble, where the event is being held.
Among those signed up to participate is four-star Roxbury High (Succasunna, N.J.) offensive lineman Angelo Mangiro and DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio Three-star Dover (Del.) High offensive lineman Trip Thurman and Sayreville High (Parlin, N.N.) defensive end Daryl Stephenson are all set to attend. All four hold Rutgers offers.
Among the other high-profile recruits among the 125 scheduled campers are offensive linemen Ian Montague of Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Anthony Zettel of Ogemaw Heights High (West Branch, Mich.), Tiquan Womack of Plainfield (N.J.) High, Cyrus Hobbi of Sagurao High (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Justin Garlic of Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.) and Kelby Johnson of DeMatha.
Also, defensive end Kendall Patterson of DeMatha and defensive end Evan Mulrooney of Salesianum School (Wilmington, Del.) are supposed to attend.
The camp was born because New Level Athletics co-founders Kashann Simmons and Baron Flenory believe there is a lack of specialized camps for big men.
“There’s nothing out there geared for linemen with specific drills,’’ Simmons said. “Most of the time linemen go to these things that are more specialized toward the skill guys, and they put the linemen in the corner and let them do their little drill, and there’s really no action with those guys.
“This camp, the main focus is them, and not skill positions. So it’s important these guys come out and show what they’re made of, what techniques they excel in, what techniques they need to work on.’’
Although college coaches are not at the camp, word of mouth quickly spreads about players who performed well, and others who did not hold their own.
“We thought there needed to be something out there specifically for linemen, where the biggest names in the country would come and showcase their talent,’’ Simmons said. “We got 125 linemen, and for the first year we think that’s a pretty good number. We’re fairly happy with that amount, and kids will get a lot of reps, which is something we want.
“You don’t want to go to an event where you’re standing in line just to get a couple of reps.’’