This will be a recurring feature leading up to National Signing Day where we will preview each teams recruiting class and my completely unbiased opinion of who each team’s best recruit is and who can make an immediate impact. We’ll mostly go in order from worst to first from the 2016 standings.
Where does the class stand?
Rutgers ranks 39th nationally and 7th in the Big Ten. For any other program coming off of a 3-9 (0-8) season, that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing for Rutgers but the bad news is they are also 6th in the Big Ten East in recruiting, so everyone that they have to play other than Indiana is out recruiting them.
How does the class breakdown?
Rutgers currently sits at 19 commitments, 8 on the offense and 11 defensive players. On the offensive side of the ball they’ve taken 1 QB, 3 WR, and 4 OL while on the defensive side of the ball they’ve snagged 5 DBs, 3 DL, and 3 LBs. On the surface it appears that Chris Ash is taking the best talent he can find regardless of position and plans on working that out later. That probably works this year but he’ll start having to hit needs next year while they upgrade the talent in Piscataway.
Is the talent any good?
Overall, Rutgers has taken in 3 four star players (OT, WR, OLB) while the remainder are three star players. Stars aren’t the end all game of whether a player will be good or not but it’s what we have for now. The top half of the class grades out individually within the Top 50 at their respective position, so that is something for Ash to work with.
Who is left?
I’m not sure that Chris Ash will be targetting that many more players because the scholarship situation appears to be pretty full barring any unannounced transfers. There is a large group of seniors this upcoming year and if Ash likes his 2018 prospects better, the open spots from this class will allow him to recruit much heavier next year and scout for some early enrollee’s to use up this year’s remaining spots. If they have room knowing the transfer situation, look for them to target another WR, DL, or ILB In the class.
Who is their most important recruit?
Micah Clark, a 4 star OT out of NJ, may be the recruit with the highest ceiling at an impact position. Rutgers should have enough depth to redshirt him this year but he could make an impact early on in his career to shore up the left side of the line.
Tyshon Fogg is a great athlete on defense and if he can put it together on the field he could be a top tier LB in the league. If he can transition inside he could make an impact early on as a freshmen for depth at ILB for Rutgers or on special teams.