Coach Greg Schiano wasn’t the only one selling the Rutgers vision during Sunday’s on-campus event featuring the area’s top recruits of the 2011 class.
Three of Rutgers’ committed members of the class were in attendance, and each took time speaking to uncommitted players about joining them at Rutgers.
There were no immediate returns – Neptune (N.J.) High’s Charles Davis already planned to commit before the event – but more groundwork was laid down as the Scarlet Knights continue to build toward putting together a strong class.
“I know some guys are there trying to get as many offers as possible, and there’s no changing their minds with stuff like that,’’ Christopher Columbus High (Bronx, N.Y.) defensive tackle Al Page said. “But when they saw me, they asked me why I committed to Rutgers so early.
“Some kids are under peer pressure and their coaches are telling them not to commit, and I told them I was hearing the same thing, but I told them, ‘It’s your decision. It’s your life. Go where you feel comfortable at.’ ‘’
Page said he spoke with a number of prospects, including Pottsgrove High (Pottstown, Pa.) cornerback Terrell Chestnut, Woodbridge (N.J.) High defensive end Max Issaka and Holy Cross High (Flushing, N.Y.) receiver Devon Cajuste.
Also among the two dozen prospects in attendance were Rutgers commits Quentin Gause, a linebacker from Bishop Kearney High (Rochester, N.Y.) and Kevin Snyder, a linebacker from Cumberland Valley High (Mechanicsburg, Pa.).
Snyder spent plenty of time talking to Chestnut and Bishop McDevitt High (Harrisburg, Pa.) running back Jameel Poteat, but also spoke with many of the other members in attendance.
|Rutgers commit Kevin Snyder|
“I tried to talk Rutgers as much as I can, and give the people thinking about Rutgers my aspect on it, other than what the coaches are saying,’’ Snyder said. “Everybody there really likes Rutgers, but they have a lot to think about so they’re not so sure on a decision yet.’’
Gause said among the prospects he chatted with was Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic High tight end Jack Tabb.
Among the others there were offensive lineman Donovan Smith of Owings Mills (Md.) High, offensive lineman Trip Thurman of Dover (Del.) High, East Stroudsburg (Pa.) cornerback Kyshoen Jarrett, Middletown (N.J.) North defensive end/tight end Shilique Calhoun, Long Branch (N.J.) High athlete Miles Shuler and Raritan High (Hazlet, N.J.) offensive lineman Shane Mertz.
Also attending the event were Roxbury High offensive lineman Angelo Mangiro, St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) offensive lineman Keith Lumpkin, safety Sheldon Royster and running back Savon Huggins, Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) receiver Tanner McEvoy, Union (N.J.) Senior High offensive lineman Josue Matias, Seton Hall Prep (Orange, N.J.) defensive end Connor Wujciak and Sayreville High (Parlin, N.J.) defensive tackle Daryl Stephenson.
At one point, Gause said all the players were sitting around and talking about recruiting, and schools.
“I was there to give some of the guys advice and help other people with their decision,’’ Gause said. “I know I could make a little bit of an impact. But if I didn’t, I didn’t.’’
However, this isn’t the first time the committed member of the 2011 class were pro-active in recruiting.
Bound Brook (N.J.) High linebacker Andrew Campolattano has been talking up Rutgers since he committed April 6, and Page, Snyder and Gause are all trying to do their parts.
|Rutgers commit Quentin Gause|
“This isn’t my first time,’’ Gause said. “I gave a few people some shout-outs and I hit them up on Facebook and tell them about the process and ask them who they’re looking at, when are they going to make a decision?
“I try to tell them what my goal is, why I made my decision and we want to go for that national championship, and tell them whatever school you choose, choose it for the best fit for you.’’
Gause’s message was on parallel with what Schiano told the recruits.
“Coach Schiano talked to everybody and basically said the same thing,’’ Gause said. “He said, ‘If this is the place for you, this is the place for you. We’re not building here anymore. We’re ready to take it to the future and ready for the next level.’
“A lot of people were impacted by the speech. He left and everyone in the room talked, and everybody was like, ‘Man, he’s a great speaker.’ Everyone was impacted.’’