Rutgers Football: Kyle Flood Is Either a Home Run or Strikeout as New Coach

Jayson LoveCorrespondent IJanuary 30, 2012

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 30:  (L-R) Jamil Merrell #92 and Jamal Merrell #37 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights celebrate a win over the Iowa State Cyclones in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on December 30, 2011 in the Bronx Borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

When Mario Cristobal reportedly spurned Rutgers to stay at FIU, Tim Pernetti opted for option B: Kyle Flood.

The thought process here is that Flood is familiar with NJ schools and is precisely the man to hold this current recruiting class, potentially RU's best ever, intact.

RU may have inadvertently hit a home run here with the hiring of Kyle Flood.

According to, New Jersey's high school coaches endorse the promotion of Flood to head coach.

Don Bosco Prep's head coach Greg Toal called Flood a "well-respected guy" and Rich Hanson of St. Peter's Prep said Flood is a "hell of a coach" who is "an honest recruiter."

St. Peter's and Don Bosco are traditionally two of Jersey's finest high school football programs, and each year churn out top-level prospects for D-1 football.

Obviously, having Flood as the head guy gives RU the best chance at retaining the kids he helped to recruit for the 2012 season.

Mario Cristobal had agreed to be the next head coach at Rutgers, and reportedly balked as the two sides were about to agree on contract parameters.

In that scenario, Flood would most likely have been retained, but who knows how recruits would have reacted to Cristobal's hiring as Cristobal had no role in recruiting any of the players who have committed to Rutgers.

On the negative side, it is clear that Flood was Pernetti's second choice, and Flood has no experience running a program.

In the short term, keeping this team together may vault Rutgers to new heights in terms of talent.  However, if Flood doesn't have the talent to get the most out of his players, RU's program may be set back. 

It is clearly a cross-roads for Rutgers football.