RIT, N.J. — With a new-look roster and the signing of a defensive tackle, Rutgers athletic director Eric Schmitt said he was optimistic about the football team’s prospects this season.
The news that former UConn linebacker Jerod Mayo will join the New York Giants as a defensive lineman on Thursday night was a positive sign for the team, but the team’s overall recruiting efforts must go a long way, Schmitt told reporters after a morning practice in the Scarlet Knights’ athletic training facility.
Rutgers is the latest Big Ten team to add a linebacker, and there are several teams on the bubble with a similar situation, according to recruiting experts.
Schmitt acknowledged the Rutgers addition could be a setback to the program’s recruiting efforts, which will continue to be focused on a few key players at this time.
The New York Jets and New York Rangers have made a commitment to Rutgers in the last two weeks.
The New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils also have commitments in the works, and former Rutgers quarterback Jarell Broxton is also a target for the Jets.
The Islanders are still looking to add an offensive lineman.
The Rutgers football team will start training camp in August and will begin playing in the Big Ten championship game on Sept. 5.
The Scarlet Knights are looking to finish out their 2017 season undefeated, but if the team can’t get past a couple of teams in the Top 25 before the Big East championship game, Schmit said the coaching staff will consider changing direction.RUTGERS: Rutgers to add three new defensive linemen.
The team is looking to make three-four commitments this fall.
Rutges’ defensive line is loaded with talent.
The program is expected to have a full roster by next summer.
The 2017 class has more than a dozen prospects on the roster and includes five players who were rated as the No. 5 and No. 6 overall recruits by Rivals.com and 247Sports.
Rutgers had 14 scholarship players rated as four-star recruits by the 247Sports Composite.
Rudolph was a top-30 recruit out of high school in 2017 and was the consensus No. 1 recruiting class in the country by Scout.com.
He committed to Rutgers last month, making him the first Rutgers recruit to commit to Rutgers since 2008.RISING: Rutgers will sign three defensive linemen this season: Jerod.
Mayo, Jerod McBride and Jarett Owens.
The first three players to be committed to the team will be defensive linemen Jerod McDonald, Jarey O’Connor and Jerod Mears, according the team.
The fifth member of the recruiting class is defensive end Jaret Wainwright, who was rated the No to 4 overall recruit by Rivals, 247Sports and Scout.
He also committed to Washington last month.