Schiano talks recruits
by Star-Ledger Staff
Wednesday February 06, 2008, 4:59 PM
Rutgers has received commitments from 20 recruits on today's national letter of intent signing day, with the chance of one or two late additions. Most of those players have already signed today, with three others -- Art Forst, Steve Shimko and Keith Stroud -- having already enrolled in school.
Here's a look at the Scarlet Knights' expected incoming recruiting class, with coach Greg Schiano's comment, position, size, weight, hometown and high school:
Marvin Booker, LB, 6-2, 200, Piscataway/Piscataway
Three-year starter will be re-united with Anthony Davis after leading Chiefs to an 11-1 record as a senior.
Schiano: "A local guy from Piscataway. He's going to be a tremendous player, passionate about the game, a very smart player and one that we've known for a while and has known us.
Morgan Carter, ATH, 6-3, 200, Woodbridge, Va./C.D. Hylton
Greg Schiano's first-ever recruit from Virginia played quarterback, wide receiver and safety in high school.
Schiano: "Our first (recruit) from the state of Virginia, we're stretching the State of Rutgers a bit. It's an area that we're getting more comfortable in as far as building more relationships there. We'll probably start him out at wide receiver and see what transpires.
Marcus Cooper, WR, 6-2, 180, Bloomfield, Conn./Bloomfield
No. 97 WR in the nation according to Scout, school's all-time leader in receiving yards, receptions and TD catches.
Schiano: "Marcus is a receiver, he can probably play a lot of things. Another guy that can really run. He's going to be a tremendous player and committed to us very, very late in the process."
*Art Forst, OL, 6-8, 290, Manasquan/Manasquan
Rated the state's top lineman and ranked No. 24 nationally by SuperPrep. Enrolled at Rutgers last month.
Schiano: "Art's on campus now. He's probably one of the largest human beings you've seen and a tremendous player, a special guy. We're blessed to have him early.
Khaseem Greene, S, 6-1, 195, Elizabeth/Avon Old Farms (Ct). Prep
An undersized linebacker when he helped Elizabeth to a state title as a senior in 2006, he will play safety at Rutgers.
Schiano: "Khaseem, I think, is going to be a really big time player on defense, whether it's at safety or perhaps, depending on how big he gets, a little bit closer to the ball. We'll see. Tremendous range and skill, no reason you can't have a 220-230 pound safety."
Marquise Hamm, DE/TE, 6-4, 220, New Brunswick/New Brunswick
Rated New Jersey's No. 16 prospect by Scout.com and No. 23 by Rivals.com after excelling on both sides as a senior.
Schiano: "Another local guy. Could play defnese, could play tight end. When he gets into our program with (strength and conditioning) coach (Jay) Butler and really begins to train and eat, this is a guy I think is going to explode."
D.C. Jefferson, QB, 6-6, 240, Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven
Burly dropback passer who is considered raw but has enormous potential. De-committed from LSU to re-commit to Rutgers.
Schiano: "Very imposing looking guy at 6-6, he's huge, probably 245-250 pounds. Very athletic, a guy that when you see him walking down the street he looks like he's on some pro franchise, that's the way he appears."
Malcolm Johnson, WR, 6-1, 175, Bartow, Fla./Bartow
Polk County Offensive Player of the Year as a senior is rated the nation's No. 37 wide receiver by ESPN.com.
Schiano: "There will be severael listed at WR/DB ... a few that are pure WRs and some that are talented skill athletes that will fit in wherever we fit. If you take a wide receiver and he ends up at cornerback, you know he has the ball skills that sometimes you get frustrated when the defensive back can't make that catch. Malcolm will end up playing somewhere in the skill positions."
Brandon Jones, WR/DB, 6-1, 175, Atco/Winslow Township
Two-way starter who caught 48 passes for 1,000 yards and had four interceptions and 72 tackles as a senior.
Schiano: "Very similar in his athleicism. Could play wideout/corner/safety, really a talented young man."
Patrick Kivlehan, DB, 6-2, 205, West Nyack, N.Y./St. Joseph's (Montvale)
Three-year starter with 18 career interceptions, joins former teammates Devin and Jason McCourty and Rob Cervini at Rutgers.
Schiano: "He continues the tradition of St Joe's DBs here at Rutgers. Last year we had 3 St. Joe's DBs starting in our four-man secondary. We lose (Ron Girault) but Patrick comes in and is a guy that really has great isntincts, a great knack for playing the game. When he zeroes in on one position I think he's going to be very good. He's a big skilled guy."
Eric Legrand, LB, 6-3, 240, Colonia/Colonia
A four-year starter and consensus top 15 recruit in the state, he has a chance to be the physical MLB Rutgers has lacked.
Schiano: "Eric has been with us for a long time, Eric committed pretty early on but he's been around since he's been a freshman, been at games, and he's going to be a tremendous player and leader. Has a charisma about him, and it's nice to have guys from the local area."
Eddie Poole, WR/DB, 6-3, 185, Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Central
Standout athlete who played basketball and ran track. From the same high school as former Rutgers DE William Beckford.
Schiano: "Eddie is a real tall wide receiver and DB, very fast. A tremendous basketball player, leads his league in scoring in basketball. Had a knee injury as a junior and I think it slowed him a little bit, but he came back and had a good senior year.
David Rowe, CB, 6-1, 195, Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa
Four-year starter who played six different positions in high school. He projects as a corner in college.
Schiano: "David is a tremendous athlete, three-sport guy, secondary QB on defense, also plays basketball and plays baseball. I watched him practice baseball at 10 in the morning then turn around and practice basketball at 2 in the afternoon on a holiday. Where he'll play, I'm not sure."
*Stephen Shimko, QB, 6-5, 210, Ewing/Ewing
Tall, rangy passer who set career records at Ewing High for passing yards (3,835) and TDs (45).
Schiano: "Is on campus. I think he's a really good quarterback, a guy that's going to benefit greatly from being here this semester, getting a chance to learn and taking his time. Steve is a real competitor, another local guy that we feel very good about and it's great to have him here early."
*Keith Stroud, WR, 6-4, 190, Brooklyn, N.Y./Fort Hamilton/Fork Union (Va.) Academy
Rated No. 21 nationally among prep players by Rivals.com. Led Fort Hamilton to a 13-0 record as a senior.
"Keith, again, just a very talented wide receiver with size. Every bit of 6-3 and really a physical specimen, a great hardworking kid that couldn't have worked out better for us. We liked him coming out of high school quite a bit and it wasn't going to work at the time, but this guy stuck to it and we're blessed to have him here with us."
Scott Vallone, DT, 6-3, 267, Central Islip, N.Y./St. Anthony
One of the most acclaimed recruits in the class. A three-year starter who helped his teams go 31-2.
Schiano: "I think Scott's going to be a tremendous defensive lineman for us. He's everything you want as a coach, he's got the tangibles and all the intangibles. Captain of his team, leader, all the things you look for as a coach and I can't wait to coach him. I think he's going to be a force in this league."
Wayne Warren, ATH, 6-1, 200, Salisbury, Md./Wicomico
Highly rated dual threat QB from Maryland was limited to five games as a senior due to a knee injury.
Schiano: "Really a fine athlete, he played QB on his team and did it all. A dynamic athlete, a guy that suffered an injury but he's all on course to be healed and ready to go when we start in June. Sky's the limit for this guy. Big kid, 6-1, 200, probably could be 215 in a heartbeat. I like this, I like that we have good sized guys that can run. These are unselfish guys that say, hey, I just wanna play where I can help the team win."
Devon Watkis, OL, 6-8, 300, Middle Island, N.Y./Longwood
Rated as a top 10 recruit in New York state by Rivals.com. Another Mike Fladell type.
Schiano: "There won tbe a lot of positions that he'll be playing. We'll probably get him down just a little bit from that (weight) but he's an athletic big man. He's very fluid. You look at a guy that size and you cant believe he can move like that. A great guy to be around, he committed to us very early in the process. A lot of people came after him and he stayed true to his commitment."
Rashad White, RB, 5-11, 170, Teaneck/Teaneck
Flashy, speedy runner will have a chance to make an immediate impact after earning second-team All-State honors.
Schiano: "One of the fastest guys in the state of New Jersey, if not the fastest. Really just a tremendous speedy athlete. Maybe lesser in size, just all muscle but can really fly and is very elusive, a tremendous athlete. We have a long relationship with Dennis Heck and Teaneck HS and it's good to get one of his players down here, espeically when he's as talented as White is."
Timothy Wright, WR, 6-4, 205, Wall/Wall
Three-year starter who played tailback, wide receiver, cornerback and safety in earning first-team All-Shore honors.
Schiano: "I don't know how big he'll get but he's going to be a very physical, domanating kind of receiver at this level. I can't wait for the first day of training camp and look at that group of receivers and DBs, we're going to have some real size out there, size that's not hampered by lack of foot speed.
*-Enrolled in school in January and will participate in spring practice.