2017 RU Class
Feb 1, 2017
By: SOR Staff
OT, 6'5", 265lbs
St. John Vianney Regional
Selected Rutgers over: Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Clemson, Alabama
Strengths: One of the most athletically gifted players in the state of New Jersey. Gifted with long arms, natural strength, quickness and balance. Has the ability to play offensive tackle or defensive end on the collegiate level. Plays with good leverage which is likely derived from his success on the wrestling mat.
Areas for Improvement: Needs to add 25 to 30 pounds to play left tackle in the Big Ten along with adding functional strength.
Projected Position: Has the skills and physical ability to play LT.
Contribute as: Although Clark would benefit from a redshirt year to acclimate to Rutgers and the Big Ten, there is a great likelihood that he will contribute as a true freshman with some time at LT.
WR, 6’1”, 180lbs
Egg Harbor, NJ
Selected Rutgers over: Penn State, Michigan, Oregon, Virginia
Strengths: Great straight line and lateral speed coupled with toughness. Melton is versatile enough to play RB. CB and WR. Has returned more than four kick-offs for touchdowns in high school. Kick returner might be the position where he gets his first playing time.
Areas for improvement: adding functional strength. He will need to block Big 10 DBs where he might be overmatched.
Projected Position: Slot receiver
Contribute as: True Freshmen. Rutgers need players who are explosive and can make plays. Melton answers many of these needs. There is a great likelihood that he will initial contribute as a kick receiver.
OT, 6'6", 295lbs
Selected Rutgers over: Indiana, Colorado State, Connecticut and Temple
Strengths: Good feet and low base, aggressive attitude, good physical strength
Areas for improvement: Increase hip flexibility, hand placement
Projected Position: Right Tackle
Contribute as: Redshirt sophomore. Vretman will likely play on the right side of the offensive line where there will be a number of the younger players. As red-shirt freshman, he will add depth and likely, some extended action as a red-shirt sophomore.
QB 6'3" 210lbs
St. Peters Prep
Jersey City, NJ
Selected Rutgers over: Georgia, Boston College, Iowa, Wake Forest and Temple
Strengths: Powerful area, good athletic ability and speed, power run with the ability to make you missed.
Areas for improvement: throwing intermediate passes with touch
Projected Position: Quarterback
Contribute as: True Freshmen. Rutgers needs a playmaker at the quarterback who suits the offense. Lewis is the best candidate. The Rutgers staff will likely create about 10 to 15 plays in a game where Lewis can display his abilities.
DE 6'3" 235
Selected Rutgers over: Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Duke, Indiana and Minnesota
Strengths: Good speed and technique, plays with good leverage
Areas for improvement: Increase lean mass and physical strength
Projected Position: weakside defensive end
Contribute as: Red-shirt freshman. Although Tverdov could play as a true freshman out of need, he needs to gain mass and strength contend with Big 10 level offensive tackles and tight ends.
OG 6'4" 270
St. John Vianney Regional
Selected Rutgers over: Old Dominion
Strengths: Strong at the point, Good drive blocker
Areas for improvement: Improvement footwork, hip flexibility
Projected Position: Guard
Contribute as: Red-shirt sophomore. Beaty will spend a lot of time with Coach Kenny Parker where will look to become a weight room warrior.
DT, 6'2", 275lbs
Selected Rutgers over:
Strengths: Good small area quickness, good strength
Areas for improvement: Increase fundamental mass
Projected Position: DT ( 3-technique)
Contribute as: Red-shirt freshman. Duggan has the unique ability to provide pressure on the quarterback from the DT position. Since he primarily played DE in high school, he will need to learn the technique to play DT in the Big 10. His physical ability provides him with a chance to compete for playing time as a red-shirt freshman.
Ath, 6'4", 185lbs
Wayne Hills HS
Selected Rutgers over: Army and Stony Brook
Strengths: very good speed (4.4 forty), good size, aggressive
Areas for improvement: inconsistently catching the ball
Projected Position: Hybrid TE
Contribute as: Red-shirt sophomore. Due to Hayek’s size and speed, there is a decent that he will play as a red-shirt freshman on special team. However, he will likely compete for playing time on offense as a red-shirt freshman once he adds the necessary weight to endure catches across the middle and some in-line blocking.
Ath, 5'11", 175lbs
Wayne Hills HS
Selected Rutgers over: Holy Cross
Strengths: good speed, very quick, good hands
Areas for improvement: improve route running, physical strength, blocking
Projected Position: Slot receiver
Contribute as: Red-shirt sophomore. Similar to his brother Tyler, there is a decent that he will play as a red-shirt freshman on special team. His consistent hands and quickness will have him competing for time in the offense as a red-shirt sophomore.
DE, 6'4", 245lbs
Hilliard Bradley HS
Selected Rutgers over: West Virginia, Navy, Indiana, Illinois, Boston College, Cincinnati and Colorado State
Strengths: good speed, long arms, good balance, plays with solid technique
Areas for improvement: improve usage of hands, functional strength, hand placement
Projected Position: DE
Contribute as: Red-shirt freshman. Bordner will be playing the strongside defensive end where will be battling the big tackles and tight ends in the Big 10. As a result, he will need to spend his first year in the weight room building functional mass and strength.
OLB, 6'2", 210lbs
Grand Street HS
Selected Rutgers over: Indiana, Maryland, and Temple
Strengths: athletic, good size, good instincts
Areas for improvement: improve his disengaging from OL blocks
Projected Position: MLB
Contribute as: Red-shirt freshman. LB is a position of need where Fatukasi could immediately compete for playing time. However, it is more likely that he will compete for one of the LB positions as a red-shirt freshman.
S, 5'11", 188lbs
Staten Island, NY
Selected Rutgers over: Boston College and Buffalo
Strengths: good ball skills and instincts
Areas for improvement: technique
Projected Position: S
Contribute as: Red-shirt sophomore. If Barrow can play CB, there is a greater than that he will see the field as a red-shirt freshman. Barrow will likely need at least two years to acclimate to Big 10 football along with fining his technique to compete for playing time.
ATH, 6'1", 200lbs
Selected Rutgers over: West Virginia, Ole Miss,
Strengths: athletic, good speed, good instincts
Areas for improvement: Increase functional mass and physical strength
Projected Position: WLB
Contribute as: Red-shirt sophomore.
Brendan De Vera
FB/TE, 6'2", 231lbs
Wayne Hills HS
Selected Rutgers over: Delaware and New Hampshire
Strengths: physical strong, aggressive, good speed, position versatility
Areas for improvement: learning to play RB and TE
Projected Position: FB
Contribute as: True Freshman. Although Jerry Kill’s offensive has not be displayed to the public, one must think they would utilize the skills of DeVera who could play, RB, FB, Hybrid TE and, maybe even, wildcat quarterback.
OLB, 6’2”, 220 Lbs.
Calvert Hall High School
Selected Rutgers over: California, Duke, Maryland, UNC, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
Strengths: Fogg is a physical linebacker with good to go with playing the position. Fogg has shown the ability to read the quarterback’s eyes and in the passing lanes to disrupt passes. He displays great instincts around the ball and he’s seldom out of position.
Areas for Improvement: Fogg needs to improve his lateral quickness as the game is faster on the college level. He needs to continue to get stronger to be able to handle the size of the offensive line.
Projected Position: Outsider linebacker
What are they said: "Chris Ash is a tremendous defensive coach and he has a plan where Tyshon is not just included but he fits into the scheme of what they're trying to do. He's a kid with tremendous size and range. He has the ability and he's fast enough to cover. He's big enough to jump in the box and go after the quarterback if it's a blitz and he has football instincts to stop the run. Big, fast and strong are all pretty good." – Donald Davis (Fogg HS coach)
Contribute as: Fogg has a chance to see early playing time because of the current lack of depth at the linebacker position.
Safety, 6’1”, 185 Lbs
Woodrow Wilson High School
Selected Rutgers over: North Carolina State, Syracuse, Buffalo, Tempe, Tulane
Strengths: Lopez has flexibility in his hips which allow him to show great range in coverage as a safety with excellent speed. At the same time Lopez can play close to the line of scrimmage in run support. He is a solid tackler who is known to deliver some hard hits.
Areas for Improvement: Lopez needs to gain some size (10 Lbs.) and strength to handle the demands of the position in the Big Ten.
Projected Position: Lopez can play either safety position
What are they said: "Edwin is a cerebral assassin," and “We can use him in multiple ways. He's very physical in the run game, he has range to cover any team's best receiver on the outside” Preston Brown (Lopez HS coach)
Contribute as: The secondary is fluid, so there is a chance Lopez could see playing time as a safety. He should see time on special time.
OL, 6’4”, 285 Lbs.
Cedar Creek High School
Egg Harbor City, NJ
Selected Rutgers over: Virginia, Old Dominion, UCF, Navy, Temple, Purdue
Strengths: Bowles has shown the ability to uproot defenders at the point of attack to create openings for the running backs. He has a very strong lower body which is a must for a lineman.
Areas for Improvement: Bowles could add 10 to 15 Lbs. for the rugged play of the Big Ten. Bowles sometimes plays with a high pad level.
Projected Position: Bowles is project as a center, but he has the ability to defensive tackle and offensive guard
What are they said: ‘I think Coach Ash is doing an awesome job. He’s really creating a nice buzz. From all indications, he has a really good group of coaches who know their stuff. I think it’s a win-win.” and “He has a nasty streak no matter where he plays.”- Tim Watson (Bowles HS coach)
Contribute as: Bowles is slated to play center due to the graduation of former starter Derrick Nelson. Depth is an issue at the position.
WR, 5’11”, 175
Burlington Township High School
Selected Rutgers over: Boston College, Old Dominion, Temple, Buffalo
Strengths: Wormley is probably the best route runner of the receivers in the 2017 class. He can dominate because he gets separation on his routes by setting up the defender with precise moves. He has great body control and soft, but strong hand for catching the ball.
Areas for Improvement: Wormley doesn’t have top end speed like the other receivers in the class.
Projected Position: Wormley will play receiver on the next level
Contribute as: Wormley could use a redshirt year, but it’s not out of the question to see him play because of the lack of depth and proven receivers on the roster.
OLB, 6’2”, 225 Lbs.
West Orange High School
West Orange, NJ
Selected Rutgers over: Army, Navy, Temple, Buffalo, Yale
Strengths: Onyechi is physically gifted. He’s a rare blend of size, speed, strength and athleticism. Onyechi is very good at rushing the quarterback and a strong tackler.
Areas of improvement: One are of improvement that is a must is his ability to drop into coverage.
Projected position: Onyechi is project as an OLB, but he may grow into a speed rush defensive end
What are they said: “Onyechi is a great athlete who is now just starting to tap into his potential.”- Jim Matsakis
Contribute as: Onyechi’s athletic ability may get him on the field as a true freshman on special teams.
DE, 6’6”, 220 Lbs.
Trezevant High School
Selected Rutgers over: Purdue, Toledo, Minnesota, North Carolina State
Strengths: Mason has great length and athletic ability. He is quick/fast for a defensive end. Plays with a chip on his shoulder.
Areas of improvement: Mason needs to gain 30 to 40 lbs. to be effective on the college level.
Projected position: He should play weak side defensive end.
What are they said: "He knows about winning and he works," and "He's a good kid."- Teli White (Mason HS coach)
Contribute as: Mason is a candidate to for a redshirt year as a freshman.