Rutgers Football Forecast: 2011 Recruiting Class Shaping Up for Greg Schiano
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Coming off a 4-8 season, Schiano's promises of championships at Rutgers seemed like more of a pipe dream than ever.
He also has stated many times in the past, and as recently as his postseason wrap-up press conference, that the program was built on a "rock-solid foundation" and could withstand a bad year.
It seemed lot a lot of hot air.
However, you would never know it was a horrid season for RU if you look at Rutgers' commit list.
Rutgers got started in the late spring with the commitment of heralded athlete Quentin Gause.
He was heavily recruited by Syracuse, and located right in 'Cuse's backyard in Rochester.
Then, the next big commit came in the summer when Tejay Johnson selected RU over offers from Miami, Nebraska and UNC, among others.
The two big commitments stayed strong to the RU program, even through all of the losing the Knights did this season.
On the same day as Johnson's commitment, Djwaney Mera a big defensive end from Hargrave Military Academy committed to the Knights. He also stayed strong to the program as the recruiting class started to build.
He was originally slated as a 3-star recruit by rivals.com but has since been upgraded to a 4-star recruit.
Rutgers received some bad news when Chevelle Buie decommitted from the Knights while dealing with personal issues that affected his status on his high school team.
Buie was a four-star rated athlete, who was an explosive running back from Cocoa, Fla. He has re-opened his recruitment, and Rutgers remains in the running. However, it is not certain whether the scholarship is still on the table from Rutgers.
Without question, the best thing to happen to R.U. this offseason is the turmoil at Pittsburgh.
With the firing/resignation of Dave Wannstedt, the coaching staff at Pitt began to deconstruct.
Two high profile coaches: Jeff Hafley, joined Rutgers as an assistant coach, and Frank Cignetti, joined R.U. as offensive coordinator.
The two coaches paid immediate dividends as Hafley played a hand in landing Miles Shuler, a tremendous athlete who at one point was bound for Pitt.
Cignetti was a driving force in securing a commitment from quarterback Gary Nova, a local product from Don Bosco Preparatory school in Ramsey, N.J.
The quarterback was originally commited to Pitt, and is the second Don Bosco quarterback to choose Rutgers in the Schiano era—Mike Teel was the first.
Rutgers is hoping that this commitment will open the pipeline to Don Bosco players as the high school program is a perennial powerhouse in New Jersey.
Rutgers remains in the running for Savon Huggins, a jersey running back in the Shonn Greene mold. He is another local product from St Peter's Prep in Jersey City, NJ.
His official visit is scheduled for this weekend, Jan. 21, and seems to be closing in on a decision.
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