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May 6, 2013
The Monday Morning Kickoff
It was a busy week on the recruiting trail for the Rutgers football and basketball programs and The Monday Morning Kickoff gets you caught up on all that and more:
A view from the gridiron (Rutgers football)
With spring football now in the books, Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood didn't waste too much time picking up the ninth commitment in the Scarlet Knights' class of 2014.
Staten Island (N.Y.) St. Joseph by-the-Sea defensive lineman Pete Mokwuah offered up a verbal commitment Wednesday evening, saying he felt comfortable enough at RU to end his recruitment early.
"Coach Flood, he's a Catholic school guy. He coached and played in a Catholic school," Mokwuah said. "He seems like an honest, nice guy. I get to play in the Big Ten and I'm about 25 minutes from home. They've got a great program."
Mokwuah plays defensive end in a 3-4 at St. Joseph's but says he sees himself most likely lining up at 3-technique when he gets to Rutgers.
Another committed prospect, Detroit (Mich.) Country Day School QB Tyler Wiegers had a standout performance at the final Rivals/Under Armour Camp Series stop in Chicago. Wiegers became the only quarterback of the 15-event series to capture Overall Skill MVP, impressing analysts with his size and ability to make a multitude of throws
Meanwhile, headway appears to be being made in Rutgers' search for a new athletic director, according to Keith Sargeant of New Jersey Press Media. Per Sargeant, three candidates--Wisconsin deputy athletic director Sean Frazier, University of Louisville executive senior associate AD Julie Hermann and Fresno State AD Thomas Boeh--have begun to emerge from a pool of applicants for the position.
Sargeant goes on to write that the 26-person selection committee is hoping to fill the vacancy by Memorial Day.
Finally, this month will mark the return of the popular "15 Days of Spring" Rutgers football documentary that made its debut last year. Footage from this year's installment will chronicle the duration of spring practice and will also profile senior linebacker Khaseem Greene as he prepares for and is ultimately selected in the 2013 NFL Draft.
The take from center court Rutgers basketball
Just one full week into his tenure as Rutgers head coach, Eddie Jordan picked up his first verbal commitment from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College point guard D'Von Campbell, who offered his pledge on Tuesday while on an official visit to campus.
Last season, Campbell made 27 starts and averaged 12.1 points and 3.1 assists for a inson team that finished 31-4 and was ranked No.1 nationally for a month during the season. He hit 37-of-102 three-pointers (36.3 percent) and shot 73 percent from the free throw line and drew interest from South Alabama, Murray State and Ole Miss.
"The coaching staff is cool," Campbell said. "I've known [associate head] coach [David] Cox since high school when he recruited me then. Coach Jordan is very cool, a very chill guy. I just felt very comfortable with them."
It took Jordan all of one day to land recruit No.2 when Arlington (Va.) Bishop O'Connell forward Junior Etou, a Rivals150 prospect, committed at the conclusion of his own official visit.
The cousin of Oklahoma City Thunder big man Serge Ibaka, Etou played for Jordan as a member of the Under-17 DC Assault squad in 2012.
"He's a great rebounder," said his high school coach, Joe Wootten. "He averaged in our league--which many consider the toughest high school league in the country, top to bottom--about 14 rebounds per game. He led the league in rebounding. He also led the league in blocked shots. He's a great shot blocker with a great knack for timing."