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February 11, 2013

The Monday Morning Kickoff

Signing Day highlighted last week while the RU grapplers highlighted the weekend with a big win at home. Things are still shaky on the basketball court and it's time again for The Monday Monday Morning Kickoff to fill you in on all the latest news in the scarlet nation.

A view from the gridiron (Rutgers Football)
Another Signing Day came and went as Rutgers received letters of intent from 17 prospects last Wednesday. Combined with five early enrollees, Rutgers brought in 22 total players in the class of 2013. In the Rivals.com final rankings, the Scarlet Knights finished with the No.44 rated class in the nation.

"The rankings and stars don't have any impact on us," said head coach Kyle Flood. "We certainly track and study a lot of things as college coaches, but if you go back and look at our 2005 recruiting class, I want to say that 15 of the recruits in that class were two-stars and we ultimately had eight players play in the NFL from that class. Seven of the eight the eight that played in the NFL were two-stars. I think those rankings; they can skew what's really important. What's really important is finding the players that are right for your program."

The class totaled nine players from the state of New Jersey and among them was Metuchen offensive lineman Dorian Miller, who also signed Wednesday morning.

"When the fax went through and they let me know they got it, it was a great feeling, one that I've been waiting on," Miller said. "It started out early with me in the process, I've been going through it really since the eighth grade year."

Rutgers added another player last night in walk-on Razohnn Gross of Don Bosco Prep. Gross played defensive tackle for Bosco, but may his future at Rutgers could turn out to be at fullback.

"I think there's a lot of people that support me there [at Rutgers]," Gross said last night. "Coach Anthony Campanile was at Bosco when I was there. We really grew on each other. I have a lot of former teammates there in Gary Nova, Darius Hamilton and Leonte Carroo. I really feel like it's the right choice. I can fulfill my dreams and I didn't want to give up hope on my dreams."

Stay logged onto Scarlet Nation for the latest developments as recruiting in the class of 2014 will begin to heat up. Also look for the return of out 'Ask the Staff' segment later today.

Life on the mat (Rutgers Wrestling)
Rutgers continued its winning ways last weekend with an 18-16 upset of No.14 Bloomsburg. Redshirt junior 133-pounder Vincent Dellefave and freshman heavyweight Billy Smith were key in the victory as each earned decisions over nationally-ranked opponents.

"We want to start beating nationally ranked programs," said head coach Scott Goodale. "Those are big matches and we just want to continue to not only compete, but to win them. That was a big win for us. Billy Smith and Vincent Dellefave knocking off two nationally ranked guys was big. Dellefave was huge in a big spot. We needed it. The biggest thing about it is that they were all pressure matches. One match goes the other way, we lose. We were under pressure and handled it."

The win moved Rutgers to 15-3 on the season and the Scarlet Knights will look to improve on that with a Friday night matchup against Drexel. Start time will be at 7 p.m. on the Drexal campus in Philadelphia.

The take from center court (Rutgers Basketball)
Rutgers' losing streak stretched to six on Saturday with a 69-63 home loss to Georgetown. Rutgers was in the game right down to the wire but couldn't come up with any big shots in the final few minutes.

"They out-executed us, they out-toughed us," head coach Mike Rice said of Georgetown. "In this league you have to take advantage of or create your opportunities. And when you get those opportunities, you have to finish them. Just too many missed opportunities."

Rutgers will look to get back on the winning track this Tuesday night with a home contest against Seton Hall.

"The phrase 'winning solves everything' is a well-used phrase and it does," Rice said. "It brings the energy and joy. I like the compete we showed out there, but it doesn't matter - you have to win. I look forward to Tuesday."

Tip-off against Seton Hall is set for 7 p.m. inside The RAC.

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