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February 6, 2013
Flood runs down RU recruiting class
Earlier today, head coach Kyle Flood took to the podium and offered up his thoughts on each prospect in Rutgers' recruiting class of 2013.
RB Dontea Ayres - Middletown (Del.): "Dontea is already enrolled and is from Maryland and Wicomico High School - the home of Wayne Warren. He is a big, physical, thick running back - someone that sat out his senior year due to injury but is at 100 percent right now. He is someone that we expect to compete this spring at a position where we have a starter in Savon Huggins, but behind him, we really don't have a proven running back. We have some talented running backs and people we feel really good about, but Dontea Ayres is going to come in and immediately have an opportunity to compete this spring. I think that is going to be a positive for everybody."
DB [b]Nadir Barnwell[/db] - Piscataway
"Nadir is one of the dynamic players in our state, right here from Piscataway High School and another player from coach Higgins' program that we think will do some exceptional things. He was someone who in high school did a little bit of everything from quarterback to special teams to the secondary. We feel he is someone who can come in immediately and help us in the secondary. He will have an opportunity to do that. Now he did have a shoulder surgery after the season ended that will allow him to participate in spring, but in a non-contact fashion. He will do a lot of excellent learning and really get accumulated to the types of drills we do here. But the contact portion he will not get until the fall. That's when he will really get the opportunity to compete."
RB Devan Carter - Brighton "Devan Carter is a big running back and someone we think is talented and a threat when he has the ball. We also think he can evolve and do some things at the fullback position that we need behind Michael Burton. As I've said before, the depth at that position is a concern for me. We needed to add someone to the list here on Signing Day that we think could help us at the fullback position. Getting Devan from Brighton High School is going to do that for us."
DB Anthony Cioffi - Jonathan Dayton)
"Anthony is someone again who will get an opportunity, albeit not starting until the summer, to come in here and compete as a corner for us. He is an exceptionally fast athlete with an impressive documented 100 meter times. I also got a chance to see Anthony play basketball and he is an exceptional athlete and an elite competitor. We are really excited to have him here with us."
ATH Justin Goodwin - Madison
"He is one of the top running backs in our state, an all-state running back. He led his team to two undefeated state championships seasons the last two years and because the school is a little bit smaller school, I don't know how well known he is outside of New Jersey. However, I know that people that have competed against him here know he is extremely elusive and a natural runner - a little bit of a slasher when you watch him on tape. Again, someone who gets here in the summer and fall training camp is going to have the opportunity to compete and be in the depth at running back."
WR Janarion Grant - Pasco "Janarion Grant is an electric special teams player on film, but that is not where his skill set stops. He plays wide receiver and will be a threat to make a big play every time he touches the ball. He was the player of the year in his area down there and is someone that I think can immediately make an impact on special teams. He may have a chance to make an impact at the receiver position. He is just a very talented young man who is exceptional with the ball in his hands."
DB Bryant Gross-Armiento - American Heritage (Fla.)
"Bryant is another player in the secondary that is going to have the chance to compete. When I say compete, on a team where we have four of our five top players in the secondary moving on, whether graduation or leaving early for the draft, there is going to be competition at that position from now until we start the season. We will find out you the players that will start and the other that will play in the sub-packages. Bryant is another player that is going to have the chance to play right away."
DE Nick Internicola - University School
"He is from one of the top programs down in Florida and an aggressive, physical player. Nick is a relentless competitor and fits the mold of what a Rutgers defensive player is. We can't wait to get him on campus this summer."
DT Sebastian Joseph - Stroudsburg (Pa.)
"He plays defensive end on his team, but is someone for us who really projects to be a three-technique. He is a really exciting player to watch on film. Right now he is about 265 pounds and we project him to get a bit bigger throughout his career. He will be a legitimate pass rusher at his position and someone that will continue in the line of Eric Foster, Justin Francis and hopefully he gives us the ability to rush the passer from that position."
DT Josh Klecko - Red Bank Catholic
"Josh certainly has a familiar last name to people around here. However, his resume stands alone. Josh is an excellent addition to our team, University and is someone who is as perfectly suited to play the nose guard as anyone I've seen on high school tape. He was constantly in the backfield in the film we watch, a playmaker at his position. He not only takes up blocks, but also can run to the ball with a high motor. We think he is going to have an excellent career here."
QB Christopher Laviano - Holy Trinity
"I am very familiar with the league Chris played in and because of that, it did not take long for people from there to tell me that we needed to recruit this young man. That started at a young age and Chris led Holy Trinity to the Catholic league championship game as a freshman against St. Anthony's. I don't know if that feat has been repeated or has been done before. He is a special football player and I think in every class you have to get a quarterback who you feel can compete and lead your program. We've got quarterbacks in our program who I believe will create a very competitive spring. We will compete at every position, but at that one, we are going to have a group of players."
LB Lester Liston - Hargrave Military Academy (Va.)
"Lester is the one player from the 22 that is outside the 'State of Rutgers' and from Michigan. He went to prep school and is now with us. He is a very impressive player on tape - a very physical linebacker who runs to the ball well. One of the things that I am most excited about this recruiting class is I think we were able to continue our tradition of building speed in our defense. We have not had to sacrifice size to do that. That is always exciting to me as I look at the class on paper. He is a player who is not only going to have the opportunity to compete for a starting job this spring, but also to be in the rotation to play special teams. His body type should be able to do lot of things for us in our defense with all of our packages and on special teams."
TE Taylor Marini - Lake Mary "Taylor is a player that is cut in the same mold as Sam Johnson. He is that type of player. He is a strong on-the-ball blocker. In his spare time in the past, he has wrestled alligators - I certainly find that interesting and it made for a little bit more interesting home visit when I was down there. But he has excellent hands, runs good routes and is physical on-the-ball blocker and is someone who is going to get bigger when he is here as well."
OL Dorian Miller - Metuchen "Dorian is from just down the road in Metuchen and is an offensive lineman. The last name is certainly familiar with his older brother being here a couple of years ago. Dorian is the type of offensive lineman that we want to recruit here. He is physical, aggressive, strong and an inside player. From looking at him from a strength perspective now, he is someone that should be able to come in an add depth at an early age. I think that position is tough to play early, but we have had a couple. But because of Dorian's attributes, I think he is someone that is going to get an early chance with us. We look forward to having him."
LB Myles Nash - Timber Creek
"Myles is another player from Timber Creek coming to Rutgers. Myles is a big athlete and is some that we think can play sam or outside linebacker here. He is also a player that can do a lot of things, including pass rushing and on special teams. He has done a lot of things at the high school level from linebacker to quarterback, but I think as he enters college he will finish in that outside linebacker role and become an excellent all-around football player for us."
WR Andre Patton - St. Elizabeth (Del.)
"He is a wide receiver who I think can compete early on for playing time. He is a spectacular athlete and I want to say in the top five in Delaware high school basketball history in terms of scoring. He is an excellent football player and seems to get a little bit bigger each time I see him. Another excellent prospect for us from the state of Delaware - it has been a great recruiting area for us and he will be the next one in that line."
DB Delon Stephenson Milford Academy (N.Y.)
"He is someone who is here with us right now and is going to have the opportunity to compete at the corner position, which I think is critical. It has been excellent to have Delon here for a couple weeks already and to see how he has grown physically over the last year. We can't wait to get to spring practice with him to see how much he can do for us and how soon he can do it."
DB TJ Taylor - South Brunswick
"T.J. Taylor from South Brunswick High School, home of Mohamed Sanu, home of Jevon Tyree and now another player from there. Coach (Joe) George is now the high school coach there. He's a safety. He is a long body. He is somebody that is still growing into his body. He's an excellent player on high school film. He's one of those guys that could be 20 pounds bigger in a year and a half because he's just at the beginning stages, I think, of what his body is going to be. He runs really well and when we get him here in the summertime it will be interesting to see how fast we can get him in the depth, competing with the other safeties in our program and see what he can do for us at an early age."
WR John Tsimis - Bergen Catholic
"John did not play his senior year because of a knee injury. As a junior, he had a spectacular amount of highlights. Nunzio Campanile has done an excellent job in his couple of years there as head coach. John Tsimis is as good of a football player as you will see on film and an elite-level competitor. When he gets here, he will be somebody that is going to be able to compete right away with the other receivers because I have not seen a ball that he has dropped yet. He has got tremendous hands. We're really excited to have him and we're certainly excited to have another player from Bergen Catholic here at Rutgers with us."
DE Kemoko Turay -Barringer
"Kemoko is a player who has not played a lot of football. This year, he came back to football. We were fortunate to have him in camp. I think he is a dynamic athlete and an explosive athlete. He spent most of his career in high school playing basketball and then came back this year to play football. I am really excited about what he is going to be. He is somebody that when he reaches his full potential, I think he could be a tremendous pass-rusher and somebody that will be able to change the game at the defensive end position."
DL Eric Wiafe - Egg Harbor Township "Eric is a big, thick, strong defensive end who runs well to the football and a third player from Egg Harbor High School, with Tejay Johnson being somebody who is going to have a chance to compete at that corner position as well. I'm really excited that Eric Wiafe is the type of defensive lineman, physically, that we want to continue to recruit. He runs well to the ball, but at the same time we haven't had to sacrifice size to get him in our program."