One day early, Scarlet Nation brings you its weekly fat cat completely loaded with team and recruiting news. Heading into tonight's showdown against Louisville, here is a little of this and a little of that to get you ready for the final regular season game of Rutgers football.
Mason Robinson on Rutgers' sharing a Big East title:
"That's unacceptable, absolutely unacceptable. For how hard we trained since the end of last season up until now, it's just unacceptable to share it."
RU commit Sebastian Joseph on tonight's Rutgers game:
"I'm so excited to be there. Both teams will be hungry and it's going to be a sick game."
Khaseem Greene on the anticipation of tonight's game:
"It's not hard to focus at all. We're not losing sleep. We know that sleep is one of the things that is important to us. We're just focused, we have a great leader in coach Flood."
Scott Vallone on Ka'Lial Glaud's growth at DE:
"He's definitely improved a lot. He actually embraced it this year, and I think last year he learned on the fly and he had a whole off-season to really learn it."
Kyle Flood on Rutgers' 2006 win over Louisville:
"I remember it being a very close game with a lot of talented football players on the field. I think if you went back and you looked at both teams and projected those guys into their professional careers, you'd see quite a few of them made an impact even in the NFL. So it was certainly a great night for college football in general, and we were excited to come out on top of it."
The Numbers Game
10 tackles for loss for Khaseem Greene
9 touchdowns this season for Brandon Coleman
8 sacks allowed by Rutgers this season
7-4 record for Rutgers against Louisville
6 games of 300-plus yards passing for Louisville this year
5 RU QB's have thrown more TD passes than Gary Nova's current mark of 31
4 kickoff returns this year for Mason Robinson
3 RU players have rushed for 1,000 yards since 1976 (Rice, Willis, Jamison)
2 new Big East teams added this week (Tulane, East Carolina)
1 Scarlet Knight with more career TD catches than Mark Harrison (T. Brown)
Bobby's Crystal Ball
Rutgers will defeat Louisville tonight in a defensive slugfest
Fat Cat Top Five
Top Five Rutgers ESPN Thursday night games
5.) Rutgers 21 Pitt 16 (1992) - first ever RU prime time game
4.) Rutgers 31 South Florida 0 (2009)
3.) Rutgers 63 Louisville 14 (2008)
2.) Rutgers 30 South Florida 27 (2007)
1.) Rutgers 28 Louisville 25 (2006)
WR Andre Patton - St. Elizabeth (Del.)
Things have gotten very interesting in Patton's recruitment as his other favorite, Purdue, lost its coaching staff this past week. Rutgers has been the front runner for awhile and according to sources very close to Patton, there is a real chance he could commit to Rutgers while on his visit to tonight's game. Things have fallen off a bit between Patton and West Virginia and with Rutgers looking to add another wide receiver in its class of 2013, Patton could lock up that spot sooner rather than later.
LB Skai Moore - University School (Fla.)
Moore and U-School are one win away from a state final berth, and have a match-up with Clearwater Central Catholic this weekend, which they are favored to win. Moore ran back an interception for a touchdown in his team's 34-17 win over American Heritage last weekend.
As of now, Moore is tentatively scheduled to take an official visit to Ohio State next weekend, though that is contingent upon how his team's playoff schedule sets up. Earlier this week, his head coach Roger Harriott told Scarlet Nation that Moore is leaning toward taking an official visit to Rutgers with teammate Nick Internicola.
What remains to be seen is when that official visit would come. Rutgers typically has just one official visit weekend in December (7-9 this year), and its biggest weekend for uncommitted prospects is in late-January.
As of now, Rutgers remains in the top spot for Moore, and any type of return trip to Piscataway should bode very well for the Scarlet Knights.
P Paul Layton (Albany University, N.Y.)
An intriguing name that has surfaced on Rutgers' recruiting radar is Albany University punter Paul Layton. A strong student, Layton will graduate in December and is looking to enroll somewhere in January for one remaining year, similar to R.J. Dill last season.
Temple has offered Layton a scholarship and he spoke with Rutgers this week.
"I spoke with Coach Rossi last night [Wednesday] on the phone and it was my first contact with Rutgers in this process," Layton told Scarlet Nation. "They are looking to see if they have any scholarship opportunities for me."
This season, Layton punted 46 times for a 40.4-yard average. Nearly one-third of his punts (15) were pinned inside the 20.
OL Quenton Nelson - Red Bank Catholic
Like most recruits, Nelson--who grew up watching a lot of Big Ten football--was impressed by Rutgers joining the conference last week.
"I'm really excited about it. It definitely makes me more interested in Rutgers," said Nelson, one of the NJ's top junior prospects. "I like the running game in the Big Ten and I feel like dominating offensive lineman come from the Big Ten: places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State."
Due to his preparation for RBC's state playoff semifinal this weekend, Nelson will not be able to attend tonight's game. He does intend to watch on television.
The Caseys travel to No. 1 St, Joseph Regional (Montvale) on Saturday with the hope of springing the upset.
"We're excited," Nelson said. "We really feel like we can pull it off."
RB Jonathan Hilliman - St. Peter's Prep
The junior running back looks to be the next big-time recruit out of St. Peter's Prep. Hilliman already holds double-digit offers from some of the most prestigious programs in the country, including Rutgers. Tonight's game could wind up having a major impact on Hilliman down the line.
"I should be able to get the best view of the campus life and the program in big games," Hilliman said.
LB Lester Liston - Hargrave Military Academy (Va.)
The prep school linebacker has been very vocal about Rutgers' future since commiting to the Scarlet Knights this past September. That continued this past week following Rutgers' announcement that it would join the Big Ten.
"I am ready to take on the Big Ten and dominate," Liston said. "I feel it was a great move to make Rutgers University and it was a great opportunity for us to get a national championship. We have to seize this great opportunity."
DB Bryant Gross - American Heritage (Fla.)
Gross, a current RU commit, took an unofficial visit to Rutgers last week following his team's playoff loss to University School.
"It went very well," Gross said. "I got to see pretty much everything. It was nice and cold. I didn't mind that."
Gross will be in Florida tonight but will be glued to the TV for the Knights showdown with Louisville.
"I'm really excited for this game," he said. "I feel like I'm playing. I'm looking forward to seeing how the defense does."
LB Troy Reeder - Salesianum (Del.)
A junior linebacker already holding a Rutgers offer, Reeder has been keeping a close eye on the Scarlet Knights this season. The move to the Big Ten has also made an impression.
"I think it's pretty sick," Reeder said. "I think it shows that they're confident that they are going to continue to get better and want to play better competition."
List of confirmed visitors for Tonight's game
* denotes that prospect has RU offer
ATH Myles Nash (Timber Creek)
DB Anthony Cioffi (Dayton)
DT Sebastian Joseph (Stroudsburg, Pa.)
S T.J. Taylor (South Brunswick)
ATH Nadir Barnwell (Piscataway)
OL Dorian Miller (Metuchen)
QB Chris Laviano (Holy Trinity, N.Y.)
DE Kemoko Turay (Barringer)
Class of 2013
WR Andre Patton (St. Elizabeth, Del.) *
LB Martrell Spaight (Coffeyville C.C., Kan.) * - Official visit
DE Tashawn Bower (Immaculata) *
QB Damon Mitchell (Cedar Creek) *
WR Charlie Callinan (St. Peter's Prep) *
Class of 2014
ATH Kiy Hester (St. Joe's Montvale) *
WR Freddy Canteen (Eastern Christian Academy) *
ATH Noah Brown (Pope John) *
WR Thaddius Smith (O'Hara, Pa.) *
DT Antoine White (Millville) *
LB Jason Cabinda (Hunderton Central)
QB Andrew Ford (Cedar Cliff, Pa.)
WR Juwann Winfree (Dwight Morrow)
OT Andrew Marshall (Milford,Del.)
LB Gerald Owens (West Deptford) *
QB Dashawn Darden (O'Hara, Pa.)
WR K.J. Williams (Liberty, Pa.) *
DE Joe Viteillo (Immaculata)
OT Jamie Herr (Eastern Christian Academy) *
WR Chris Godwin (Middletown, Pa.) *
DE Andrew Trumbetti (Demarest) *
DB Jabrill Peppers (Paramus Catholic) *
WR Adonis Jennings (Timber Creek) *
LB Justin Nelson (DePaul)
RB Shai McKenzie (Washington, Pa.)
RB Jonathan Hilliman (St. Peter's Prep) *
DB Shamir Bearfield (St.Peter's Prep) *
Class of 2015
QB Brandon Wimbush (St. Peter's Prep) *
CB Minkah Fitzpatrick (St. Peter's Prep) *
LB/TE Jordan Fox (St. Peter's Prep)
QB Cinjun Erskine (Barnegat)
ATH Juwan Johnson (Glassboro)
OT Sam Madden (Barnegat)
RB Rob Ennis (Millville)
Class of 2016
QB Brandon McIlwan (Council Rock North, Pa.)
DB Benny Walls (Camden Catholic)
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