Where Does This Class Rank?
Feb 6, 2013
Rutgers' Top Recuit Nadir Barnwell
Barring any surprises, the 2013 Rutgers recruiting class is set. StateOfRutgers.com had the opportunity to reach out to 247Sports recruiting analyst Bob Lichtenfels to provide his opinion of the most recent Rutgers class. He has been covering the Northeast for more than a decade and has ranked classes for the Big East, Big Ten, ACC and others.
Last year, Rutgers signed the best recruiting class in school history where many of the best players in the state came to the banks of the Raritan. It was a group that received rave reviews from many recruiting experts including Lichtenfels. This year’s class appears to be a very solid group that fills a number of need areas. However, there are a few in-state players that the Scarlet Knights missed out on.
“Anytime I’m looking at schools like Rutgers who is the only program in New Jersey, I obviously want to see how they did at home first. The Scarlet Knights struck out on a number of the top kids in-state specifically on Eli Apple, Corey Clement, Alquadin Muhammad, Kevin Olsen, Anthony Averett, Dajuan Drennon and Greg Webb all going elsewhere”, stated Lichtenfels.
He went on to say, “it is critical for the long term success of the Rutgers program that they start pulling in more of those kids. They started to do that under Greg Schiano, so now Coach Flood has got to find a way to accomplish that. I do love the signing of Nadir Barnwell. You could argue that he is under rated. I think he should be higher than where most sites have him ranked. I also like the fact that Rutgers added depth at almost every position on offense and defense”.
Although Rutgers will play in the Big East this football season, they will be leaving the conference for the Big 10 in 2014. The class seems to fare well against those schools in the Big East but not as well against those schools in the Big 10.
“247Sports Composite rankings have Rutgers No. 2 in the Big East; they would be No. 9 in the Big Ten. My personal take is that No. 3 in the Big East is probably a little more accurate. I really like what Connecticut was able to do this year”, he stated.
The obvious question is where could have Rutgers have done better? There were a number of top recruits who left the state. Besides that Lichtenfels feels that the Scarlet Knights should have added more linemen to the class.
“Rutgers has got to do a better job of recruiting New Jersey. You cannot let six to eight of the best players in the state go elsewhere. I would have liked to of seen them sign a few more offensive linemen, you can never have enough of the big uglies”, he said.
Although he did have a few critical things to say, there are a few players who he feels have a chance to have good careers and might have some immediate impact.
“I love the way Nadir Barnwell plays the game. I would think Rutgers has to get him on the field as soon as he steps on campus. He is a big time playmaker that can change the game on either side of the ball”, he said.
“I think if he stays healthy Sebastian Joseph could surprise some folks. The defensive line group in this class is deep, but raw. It could be a little while before they see much return on their investment. Eric Wiafe is going to be a monster. That kid has not even begun to scratch the surface yet, as to how good he could become”.