Ryan Brodie is the next major offensive tackle prospect that Rutgers could land.
Could the classes of 2011 and 2012 lay the foundation for Rutgers to get to the top of the Big East?
Recruiting rankings should never be taken as an absolute predictor of future on-field success, but you have to admit that the Scarlet Knights are building an impressive foundation, one that could get even better moving forward in this cycle, particularly along the all-important offensive line.
As is the case with most programs located in a talent-filled area, it starts by landing the prospects that are close to your campus. We all know that Greg Schiano and company have been able to pluck players out of south Florida over the years, but it’s been the ability to close the deal on top prospects from the state of New Jersey and elsewhere in the Northeast.
The Scarlet Knights landed a big piece to the 2012 puzzle on Thursday when four-star, top 100 offensive tackle Chris Muller (Boyertown, Pa.) committed to Rutgers ahead of long-time favorite Penn State. The 6-foot-7, 280-pound athletic tackle prospect was long thought to be penciled in to the 2012 class heading to State College, but things went awry with his recruitment to PSU. There was some question about what position on the offensive line Penn State wanted him to play and as is the case in recruiting sometimes, the Nittany Lions were ready for him to jump in the boat. He balked, visited Piscataway, loved it and committed to Rutgers.
Landing Muller makes the prospects for the future Scarlet Knights offensive line intriguing. Rutgers landed tackle Keith Lumpkin (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peters Prep) and sleeper trenchman Kaleb Johnson (Jacksonville, Fla./Ed White) in the 2011 class and that is a great start (I personally think Lumpkin, with the right development, could have an NFL future). Now in 2012, Muller is in the boat, and Rutgers has to be considered the favorite to land Ryan Brodie (Long Branch, N.J.), another top247 athletic tackle prospect with a huge upside.
That would give Rutgers three offensive tackle prospects in as many classes that could play in any conference in America. Granted, Brodie is not in the boat yet, so that’s something to keep an eye on, but if you are a fan of the Scarlet Knights, you have to like the possibilities when you also consider recruiting has been strong at other positions on the field as well.
Bottom line: Rutgers, which is coming off a 4-8 season, will definitely be a team to watch in the coming years in college football to see if recruiting success (that’s better, at least, on paper than previously) will translate into more wins on the field.