The Rutgers football program hosted a few dozen top junior-day goals over the weekend and has since turned basketball visits into a science. The weekend has been personalized based on the needs of each destination. Saturday’s crowd enjoyed a traditional juniors’ day, while Sunday’s crew at Jersey Mike’s Arena watched the Rutgers men’s basketball team lose to the Northwestern Wildcats. Some recruits met with academic advisors, some took campus tours, and others took photoshoots while eating all the pounds of delicious food and hearing the latest rallying cry from Greg Schiano and his staff.
“What struck me was definitely the welcoming atmosphere,” said the second wide receiver for the Lower Cape May Regional and Rutgers Offeree. Braswell Thomas. “The coaches really made me feel at home. Everyone at Rutgers has a real bond that’s obvious. I think that is something very special.”
Some recruits, like 6-7, 280-pound Avon (Conn.) Old Farms offensive lineman Jack HinesShe watched a movie with her potential position trainers.
Schiano offered Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, NJ) as a freshman KJ McClainBrother of four-star junior DB Jaylen McClainon Friday and Khallil Witherspoona junior tight end from Pleasantville (NJ), on Sunday.
“The whole experience was great,” said Witherspoon, who was also offered by the Boston College Eagles. “If I could do it again, I would definitely take the injection and do it again. When I got the offer it was great. Coach Schiano was very nice and I loved the staff.”
Dominic toysa three-star junior tight end from Chester, Pa. has been to Rutgers numerous times and has Rutgers directly at its locations.
“I’ve seen it all at Rutgers,” said Toy, a 6-5, 215-pounder with five bids. “The visit was more for my mother.”
But with official visits now being authorized in June, the majority of recruitment movements will take place at that time.
Rutgers’ Men’s Hoops suffered a heavy loss on Sunday, but the atmosphere at Jersey Mike’s Arena was great.
In-state blue chips Kay Sanders, Jordan Thomas And Jaylen McClain – accompanied by brother KJ – made their second junior day hikes to Rutgers this year while QB promised AJ Surace began his role as the face of Rutgers’ Class of 2024 on Saturday and should be a solid ambassador for the program.
As the son of a college coach, recruitment is a natural fit for Surace, whose down-to-earth, laid-back yet inclusive demeanor are strengths and should help Rutgers recruit offensive (and defensive) talent.
Rutgers was also proactive with young recruits, setting the stage for bitter fights all along the route.
“I really enjoyed my visit to Rutgers,” said FBU Freshman All-American and St. Sebastian’s School Edge Dominik Funke. “I was able to have great conversations with Coach Schiano, Coach Watson and Coach Noonan. I enjoyed touring the soccer facilities and campus, both of which were very nice.
“What struck me the most was the coaching staff and how much they cared about me and their team. It seems Coach Schiano has built a great culture there.”
MORE FROM TODDERICK HUNT
– The NJ.com Top 50 Football Recruits List, January 2023
– Being in the Big Ten is a boon for Rutgers recruiting
– Pipeline to Piscataway, Pt. 1: How Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall became Rutgers Prep
– Pipeline to Piscataway, Pt. 2: When Erasmus players join Rutger’s family
– Recruitment of black football players to Rutgers during America’s struggle for social change
– Cameroon, Canada, CHOP: He took the long road to Rutgers, but now he’s “home”
– Family, Football and NFL Dreams: NJ’s Best DBs, Teammates and Best Friends – Bellamy & Gould
-How Rutgers lured Kentucky’s Gavin Wimsatt, Greg Schiano’s QB star coup
– Destiny, Despair and Endurance: The Story of Newark’s Shaquan Loyal
Courage in the face of violence in Camden: “I have to get my mother and family out of here”
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Todderick Hunt can be reached at [email protected].