Greg Schiano’s return to Rutgers has brought back some much needed energy around the program. That’s as expected, especially on the in-state recruiting trail.
Unexpected, however? The coronavirus, which is a pressing issue in the Tri-state area surrounding the school. As much of the focus in the area has been on dealing with the fallout though, it seems the current shutdown of recruiting and spring football is actually having a net, well, “benefit” for the Scarlet Knights.
Per NJ.com, the lack of visits to campus and the current inability to meet face-to-face with coaches has led to a number of recent commitments at RU from around the state this week and even an appearance in the top 25 of the 247Sports team rankings:
Rutgers, smartly, got most of its priority visits out the way during the first week of the contact period, where upwards of 80 freshmen, sophomores, and juniors visited campus — around 20 percent from out-of-state, while junior visitors were split more evenly down the middle.
College coaches revere New Jersey for its high school football talent, and Rutgers finally has a way to keep out-of-state coaches, well, out-of-state.
That move to get players around the football team early by Schiano may turn out to be a moot point if the NCAA opens up recruiting past the current April 15 dead period and others swoop in to pick off commitments over time. Still, in the near term right now, it’s a subtle masterstroke that seems to have been one of the rare cases of somebody actually benefiting from the current worldwide nightmare many of us find ourselves in.
In may well have taken a minor apocalypse to get Rutgers a top 25 ranking again but, given the state of the program, even the small silver linings are worth celebrating in these trying times.