Work has been pleasant for Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood. In addition to inheriting a team that earned a postseason bowl berth last year, he corralled coach Schiano's excellent 2012 recruiting class.
Those freshmen, along with returning players from last year's winning season, are part of the reason that the Scarlet Knights are 2-0 so far this season. But to ensure future success, Flood knows that he must keep winning in order to attract new talent to the program.
The most recent commitment to Flood's 2013 Scarlet Knights is linebacker Lester Liston, currently enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia. Liston becomes the 17th prospect to give a verbal commitment to Flood's program.
The 6'2", 225-pound prospect may be utilized by the Knights at any of the three linebacker spots for Rutgers next season, especially given the fact that the RU will be losing senior linebackers Khaseem Greene and Steve Beauharnais via graduation.
Liston is assessed as "a physical playmaker who is capable of making big plays from any spot on the field," according to ESPN.com.
Liston comes to Rutgers as a direct consequence of the hiring of linebacker coach Dave Cohen, who had previously coached at Western Michigan. Liston had attended Grand Blanc High School in Michigan where he played defense as well as offense. In addition to 98 tackles on defense, Liston ran for 699 yards and 23 receptions.
"He's a physical, aggressive player with the mentality you look for in a linebacker," according to Matt Hladik of ScarletNation.com [as reported by The Star-Ledger's Tom Luicci on NJ.com]. "Rutgers was looking for more linebacker help in this class and he could be that so-called thumper in the middle.
Liston had previously committed to Cincinnati, but the Bearcats were unable to tie up the recruit past a verbal when he did not qualify academically. The fact that Rutgers is getting a recruit that had previously been earmarked for a rival Big East team makes the pickup all the more significant.