K.J. Stroud Talks Bah, Mack

Zach Links- SOR Head Staff Writer

Aug 11, 2015

By: Zach Links- SOR Head Staff Writer


Before Ahmed Bah and Taysir Mack got deep into talks with Rutgers coaches, they had a coach of their own who gave them an idea of what life is like at Rutgers.  Former RU wide receiver K.J. Stroud - who has since made a few stops playing professionally - is the wide receivers coach at Grand Street Campus, the school that produced the talented duo.  

Recently, Stroud took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to StateOfRutgers.com about Bah, Mack, and more.  Stroud was glowing in his praise for both players, but he also noted that they bring different skill sets to the table.
"Taysir Mack is the complete wide receiver.  He is great route runner, he has great speed, he's a natural pass catcher, and he has big playmaking ability," Stroud told Donald Forbes of StateOfRutgers.com.  "I think the biggest adjustment for a high school athlete making the transition to college is speed.  I feel like Taysir can adjust to the college speed; he'll be fine.  He'll be able to compete at the next level."
At 6'3", 175 pounds, Mack has the height to compete with rangy cornerbacks and reach for a catch that might be out of range for some receivers.  Bah, meanwhile, has a frame that's even better suited for play at the Division-I level.  
"Out of the two he has the college-ready type body," Stroud said. "He has deceptive speed. He's strong, very physical, loves contact, and he just works man. I think for him to compete at Rutgers he would just have to continue his physical play.  Also, like Taysir, he'll need to adjust to the game speed of college football.  I think he'll compete for a starting job in the coming years."
Stroud, who began his career at Rutgers before transferring to Bethune-Cookman, is in a unique position to give advice to these young receivers as they get set to play at RU.
"The advice I've given them both about Rutgers has been positive thus far. I told them the program has only been on rise ever since I left. Especially with them making the jump to the Big Ten.  It's a great opportunity for them athletically as well as academically. The sky is the limit for the both of them.  I told them to just buy into the program and work hard and ChopNation will see great things to come from Mack and Bah," the 25-year-old explained.
Bah and Mack might not be the last talents Rutgers fans hear about in the coming years.  Stroud told StateOfRutgers.com that wide receiver Kareem Davis, defensive back Justin Phillips, and defensive lineman Joseph Barrios are among the players with Division-I talent that could be of interest to RU.  
At 5-foot-9, Stroud says that Davis plays similarly to Tim Brown, who was a productive wide receiver under Greg Schiano.  Phillips, an aggressive defensive back, can play both safety and corner and isn't afraid to get involved in the run game.  Barrios, Stroud says, is "a big mauler" who has shown that he can get a great jump off the ball and make plays.  All three players, he says, have garnered college interest and Philips and Joseph in particular have garnered big interest from Rutgers. 
Stroud, who played professionally for two years including a brief stint on the Jets' offseason roster, says that his playing days are over.  Instead, the bright athlete says that he wants to devote his time and energy to molding the next generation of talent at Grand Street Campus.  Stroud's college eligibility is through, but he could have a hand in bringing continued success to Rutgers by molding Bah, Mack, and future potential recruits.