Rutgers Football: Recruiting Scores Big by Landing First 4-Star Recruit for 2013

Mark BatorAnalyst IISeptember 19, 2012

September 1, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Kyle Flood before their game against the Tulane Green Wave at the Bercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook - US PRESSWIRE

With a 3-0 record this season and 17 recruits already to his credit, Kyle Flood has been having a good 2012. But despite the number of commits the Scarlet Knights have already secured, none of them are rated higher than a 3-star prospect—until now.

Piscataway (NJ) High School talent Nadir Barnwell, who had been courted by  Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee and USC among others, chose Kyle Flood's Scarlet Knights. Barnwell had been one of the four highest-rated defensive prospects on Rutgers' wish list, along with Kendall Fuller, Al-Quadin Muhammad and Jayron Kearse.

Before making his decision, Barnwell (a 4-star recruit as rated by and had narrowed down his list of finalists to Tennessee and Rutgers [according to John Haley of The Star-Ledger on]. The 5'11", 180-pound Barnwell plays both cornerback and quarterback—and with his home only a short distance from High Point Solutions Stadium—he could not help but be influenced.

"I’ve been going to Rutgers games since I was like eight, since Ray Rice and all of those guys," Barnwell told Scarlet Scuttlebutt on "It’s even better for me now because Rutgers has recruited a lot of guys from Jersey." Currently, the Scarlet Knights have two other Piscataway High School graduates on their roster, namely wide receiver Jawaun Wynn and defensive end Marvin Booker.

"I’ve played with those guys, either in seven-on-seven or actual games," Barnwell said via Scarlet Scuttlebutt on "I’ve got relationships with all of them, and I get to go there and see them and be proud of them."

Barnwell has sat out so far this season with a shoulder injury, but is expected to make his first appearance on the field in a game against South Brunswick High School on October 5.

“He is so physical, he is our hardest worker and he’s a student of the game, so his potential is unlimited,’’ explained Piscataway High School coach Dan Higgins [as reported by John Haley of The Star-Ledger on]. “He is one of the best and most physical players I have coached here.’’