PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano announced Wednesday that 20 high school standouts have signed to play football for the Scarlet Knights beginning in the fall of 2008.
The Scarlet Knights ended the season 8-5 overall after a convincing 52-30 victory over Ball State in the International Bowl. It was the third consecutive bowl for the Scarlet Knights and the second straight bowl victory for Rutgers.
Three members of the 2008 recruiting class - Art Forst, Steve Shimko and Keith Stroud – are enrolled at Rutgers and will take part in spring practice, which is set to begin March 11.
|MARVIN BOOKER||LB||6-2||200||Piscataway HS/Piscataway, N.J.||Dan Higgins|
|MORGAN CARTER||ATH||6-3||215||C.D. Hylton HS/Woodbridge, Va.||Lou Sorrentino|
|MARCUS COOPER||WR||6-2||180||Bloomfield HS/Bloomfield, Conn.||Roy Roberts|
|ART FORST||OL||6-8||305||Manasquan HS/Manasquan, N.J.||Pete Cahill|
|KHASEEM GREENE||DB||6-1||195||Elizabeth HS/Elizabeth, N.J.||Chet Parlavecchio|
|MARQUIS HAMM||DE/TE||6-4||220||New Brunswick HS/New Brunswick, N.J.||John Quinn|
|D.C. JEFFERSON||QB||6-6||240||Winter Haven HS/Winter Haven, Fla.||Charlie Tate|
|MALCOLM JOHNSON||WR||6-1||170||Bartow HS/Bartow, Fla.||Shawn Killets|
|BRANDON JONES||WR/DB||6-1||175||Winslow Township HS/Sicklerville, N.J.||Michael McBride|
|PATRICK KIVLEHAN||DB||6-2||205||St. Joseph's (Montvale)/West Nyack, N.Y.||Tony Karcich|
|ERIC LEGRAND||LB||6-2||240||Colonia HS/Colonia, N.J.||Ben LaSala|
|EDDIE POOLE||WR/DB||6-3||185||Glades Central HS/Belle Glade, Fla.||Willie Snead|
|DAVID ROWE||WR/DB||6-0||195||Cocoa HS/Cocoa, Fla.||John Wilkinson|
|STEVE SHIMKO||QB||6-5||215||Ewing HS/Ewing, N.J.||John Bamber|
|KEITH STROUD||WR||6-3||190||Fort Hamilton HS/Brooklyn, N.Y.||Vince Laino|
|SCOTT VALLONE||DT||6-3||260||St. Anthony’s/Central Islip, N.Y.||Rich Reichert|
|WAYNE WARREN||WR/DB||6-1||200||Wicomico HS/Salisbury, Md.||David Nettles|
|DEVON WATKIS||OL||6-7||320||Longwood HS/Coram, N.Y.||Chris Meyer|
|RASHAD WHITE||RB||5-11||170||Teaneck HS/Teaneck. N.J.||Dennis Heck|
|TIMOTHY WRIGHT||WR||6-4||205||Wall HS/Wall Township, N.J.||Chris Barnes|
Linebacker - 6-2, 200
Piscataway, N.J./Piscataway HS
Three-year starter for Dan Higgins at Piscataway High School ... posted staggering defensive numbers in leading the Chiefs to a 11-1 record in 2007, tallying 113 tackles, including 25 for loss, five sacks and three forced fumbles ... posted 80 tackles and seven sacks as a junior ... First Team All-Area selection by the Home News Tribune ... Second Team All-State by the Associated Press ... ranked No. 69 nationally among weakside linebacker prospects and No. 25 among New Jersey recruits by Scout.com … will join former high school teammate Anthony Davis at Rutgers.
Coach Dan Higgins on Booker: "Marvin was one of those once-in-a-lifetime type of guys, and it's not a surprise that he led the ship this year. He (filled the leadership role) whenever he felt it was necessary; at halftime, in practice, sometimes right before we played. He picked all different moments to just bring everybody together.''
Athlete - 6-3, 215
Woodbridge, Va./C.D. Hylton HS
Versatile athlete who played quarterback, wide receiver and safety in high school … three-year starter for head coach Lou Sorrentino … first recruit of the Greg Schiano era at Rutgers from the state of Virginia … first Scarlet Knight from the Commonwealth since Mike Barr (1998-2001) … rated as the No. 44 athlete in the nation by Rivals.com … started senior season at quarterback before moving to wide receiver … 27 receptions for 376 yards at wide receiver as a senior … also rushed for 164 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 120 yards in limited time at quarterback … registered 47 tackles, forced four fumbles, three fumble recoveries and deflected three passes as a junior … caught 15 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns as a junior … also added 214 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
Coach Lou Sorrentino on Carter: "One of Morgan's strengths is his versatility. I could see him playing several different positions at Rutgers, including linebacker, tight end, wide receiver or defensive back. He is a very intelligent player on the field and in the classroom. He is a hard worker who likes contact."
Wide Receiver – 6-2, 180B
loomfield, Conn./Bloomfield HS
One of the top rated prospects in the state of Connecticut … rated the No. 97 wide receiver in the nation by Scout.com … rated the No. 8 prospect in the state of Connecticut by Rivals.com and the top WR prospect in the Nutmeg State according to Rivals.com and Scout.com … First Team All-State selection by the Hartford Courant and the Connecticut High School Coaches Association in 2007 and 2006 … New Haven Register First Team All-State pick as a senior … totaled 64 receptions for 1,071 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior for coach Roy Roberts at Bloomfield … caught 62 passes for 1,100 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior … ranks second in Connecticut history for career receiving yards (3,014), touchdown receptions (43) and consecutive games with a touchdown reception (13) … 170 career receptions rank fourth in state history … leaves Bloomfield HS as the school's all-time leader in receiving yards, touchdown receptions, receptions, consecutive games with a TD and most yards receiving in a game with 287.
Offensive Lineman – 6-8, 305
Manasquan, N.J./Manasquan HS
One of the top offensive line prospects in the country … three-year starter at Manasquan High School … played for the late Vic Kubu at Manasquan … one of the top 250 recruits in the nation according to Rivals.com … rated as the No. 4 prospect in New Jersey and the top offensive lineman in the Garden State by Rivals.com … listed as the No. 20 offensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com … Scout.com lists Forst as the No. 23 offensive tackle prospect in the nation … part of two Central Jersey Group II State Championship teams at Manasquan as a sophomore and junior, including a perfect 12-0 season in 2006 … finished high school career 29-5 at Manasquan.
Coach Pete Cahill on Forst: "Art is a student of the game. He is a leader by example and one of the most mature young men we have ever had come through at Manasquan High School. Knowing Art and his tremendous work ethic and how much he is looking forward to Rutgers, I can see him doing everything possible to help contribute to the team right away."
Defensive Back/6-1, 195
Elizabeth, N.J./Elizabeth HS (Avon Old Farms)
Safety recruit who was a standout at Elizabeth High School for coach Chet Parlavecchio … former high school teammate of current Scarlet Knight Keith Taylor at Elizabeth, one of the premier programs in the state of New Jersey … played one year of football at Avon Old Farms following his high school career … two-sport standout at both schools in football and basketball … spent time at wide receiver and defensive back last year at Avon … finished season with five interceptions and posted 315 yards receiving … Star-Ledger Third-Team All-State in 2006 at Elizabeth … part of an 11-1 Minutemen squad that won the New Jersey North II, Group IV State Championship at Rutgers Stadium in 2006 … Star-Ledger All-Union First Team selection at outside linebacker after totaling 117 tackles, including 68 solo stops, and two fumble recoveries for touchdowns in 2006.
Coach Chet Parlavecchio on Greene: "Khaseem is multidimensional player who is the ultimate team player. He is like having another coach on the field. He can play one of three positions, including linebacker, free safety and strong safety. With a bunch of players like Khaseem on your team, you will win a lot of football games. He is a great character kid who could one day play on Sundays."
Defensive End/Tight End - 6-4, 220
New Brunswick, N.J./New Brunswick HS
Three-year starter at New Brunswick High School for coach John Quinn ... consensus Top 25 recruit in New Jersey ... excelled on both sides of the ball this past season, posting 94 tackles, including 72 solo, nine sacks, eight tackles-for-loss and two interceptions at defensive end ... at tight end, finished as Middlesex County's second-leading receiver with 36 catches for 605 yards and six touchdowns ... rated the No. 23 prospect in New Jersey by Rivals.com ... ranked No. 16 in the state by Scout.com ... First Team All-Area selection by the Home News Tribune ... Second Team All-State by the Associated Press.
Coach John Quinn on Hamm: "I think he really had to feel his way through learning the game, but somewhere in the middle part of his junior year, the light went on and he said, "I can do this at the next level.' He's got great length, long arms, and quick, loose hips where he can get around defenders and use that wingspan to just latch onto you and smother you. I think Rutgers is getting a diamond in the rough.''
Quarterback – 6-6, 240
Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven HS
Strong-armed quarterback who is one of the best at his position in the nation … three-year starter for coach Charlie Tate at Winter Haven High School … rated as the No. 16 quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com and ESPN.com … top-100 recruit in the state of Florida according to the Orlando Sentinel (No. 72) and Rivals.com (No. 78) … Winter Haven News Chief Offensive Player of the Year as a senior … threw for 1,627 yards and 17 touchdowns his senior season en route to All-County honors from the Lakeland Ledger … selected to play in the Offense –Defense National All-Star game in Fort Lauderdale … passed for 1,148 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior en route to News Chief All-Area Second Team honors.
Coach Charlie Tate on Jefferson: "He is like getting a free pass to the carnival – you can ride all the rides with D.C. He is a big quarterback who can make all the throws and does a good job with his ball handling. He plays football pretty comfortable and has the ability to do a lot of things."
Wide Receiver/6-1, 170
Bartow, Fla./Bartow HS
One of the top wide receiver prospects in the talent-rich state of Florida … three-year starter for coach Shawn Killets at Bartow High School at both wide receiver and defensive back … rated the No. 37 wide receiver in the nation by ESPN.com … caught 14 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown as a senior … Winter Haven News Chief Offensive Player of the Year as a junior after posting 31 receptions for 797 yards and nine touchdowns … Florida Sports Writers Association Class 3A All-State Second Team selection as a junior … averaged 25.7 yards per reception his junior year as he collected All-County honors from the Lakeland Ledger … team finished 10-4 and reached the state semifinals his junior season … 62 tackles and three interceptions on the defensive side of the ball in 2006.
Coach Shawn Killets on Johnson: "Malcolm has been a three-year starter for us, both at wide receiver and as a defensive back. He is one of the top receivers to come through Bartow in a long time. One of his best attributes is the way he can play a ball in the air. He is also a tremendous defensive back who can play corner and safety."
Wide Receiver/Defensive Back/6-1, 175
Sicklerville, N.J./Winslow Township HS
One of the top wide receivers in South Jersey who also excelled on defense … played on the prep level for coach Michael McBride at Winslow Township High School … stellar senior season included eight interceptions and 54 tackles on defense … returned two interceptions for touchdowns and recovered four fumbles … returned 24 punts for 425 yards and a touchdown … equally impressive on the offensive side of the ball with 47 receptions for 997 yards and 10 touchdowns … rated the No. 29 prospect in the state of New Jersey by Rivals.com … Second Team All-South Jersey selection and First Team All-Group 3 by the Camden Courier-Post … helped lead Winslow Township to a 7-3 record and a spot in the NJSIAA South Group III state semifinals last season.
Coach Michael McBride on Jones: "For us, Brandon was a difference maker. He was able to excel on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game. He is an extremely intelligent player and has a great football IQ. You can tell he is the son of a football coach."
Defensive Back/6-2, 205
West Nyack, N.Y./St. Joseph's (Montvale)
Standout defensive back from tradition-rich St. Joseph's (Montvale) … three-year starter at safety for head coach Tony Karcich … versatile athlete who played quarterback and wide receiver on offense as a senior … was the team's leading receiver as a junior … continues strong tradition of St. Joseph's graduates at Rutgers, joining former high school teammates Devin and Jason McCourty and Rob Cervini at Rutgers … The Record First Team All-Bergen County … 42-of-67 passing for 747 yards and seven touchdowns … 45 rushing attempts for 320 yards and three scores and caught 13 passes for 198 yards and two TDs … 1,067 yards of total offense … on defense, totaled 62 tackles and five interceptions as a senior … blocked five punts and a field goal last year … 10 tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery and blocked a punt for a touchdown in a 42-14 victory over Delbarton in a Non-Public, Group III First Round game … owns school record for career interceptions with 18 … also punted last two years and averaged 38.5 yards per punt … part of a Green Knights squad that won the 2005 Non-Public Group III state championship.
Coach Tony Karcich on Kivlehan: "Patrick was a three-year starter at safety for us and was probably the most versatile player we have ever had at St. Joseph's. He has done it all for us and he was our captain. Patrick is a great person and we are really proud of him. I hope the tradition continues for a long time between us and Rutgers."
Colonia, N.J./Colonia HS
Four-year starter for Colonia HS coach Ben LaSala ... consensus Top 15 recruit in New Jersey ... starred at linebacker and running back for a 7-3 Colonia team that finished with an undefeated division record for the first time in school history ... totaled 115 tackles from his middle linebacker spot and rushed for 980 yards and 12 touchdowns this past season ... ranked by Scout.com as the No. 14 recruit in New Jersey and the No. 21 middle linebacker prospect nationally ... rated No. 13 in New Jersey by Rivals.com ... First Team All-Area by the Home News Tribune ... Second Team All-State by the Associated Press ... First Team All-Middlesex County and Second Team All-State by The Star-Ledger.
Coach Ben LaSala on LeGrand: "Every time you thought he couldn't top something, couldn't do something better than he did before, all of a sudden he would. He's the best that I've had not just because of what he did on the field as much as the time and effort he gave to make himself the player he is.''
Wide Receiver/Defensive Back/6-3, 185
Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Central HS
Two-year starter for coach Willie Snead at Glades Central High School … comes from the same high school that produced William Beckford, the former Rutgers defensive standout who graduated following the 2006 campaign … helped lead Glades Central to a 23-5 record, including the 2006 State 3A Championship, the past two seasons … hauled in 24 receptions for 533 yards and six touchdowns as a senior on a 11-2 squad … finished second on team in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns … standout athlete who also runs track and plays basketball.
Wide Receiver/Defensive Back/6-0, 195
Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa HS
Versatile athlete who played six different positions in high school … four-year starter at Cocoa High School for coach John Wilkinson … one of only three four-year starters for Wilkinson during his tenure at Cocoa … five interceptions as a senior and finished as the Tigers' all-time leader with 23 career interceptions … Florida Sports Writers Association Class 3A First Team All-State defensive selection as a senior … listed as the No. 63 prospect in the state of Florida according to the Orlando Sentinel … led team to Florida 3A state semifinals as Cocoa finished with a 10-4 record… first time in school history Cocoa reached the state semifinals as the Tigers won three road games in the playoffs … Florida Today All-Space Coast selection … lined up at free safety, cornerback, quarterback, wide receiver, running back and kick returner in high school.
Coach John Wilkinson on Rowe: "David meant everything to our program. He played anywhere we needed him to play and he has great ball skills on defense and a good nose for the ball. He is a great football player and also a tremendous person. We will miss him."
Quarterback – 6-5, 215
Ewing, N.J./Ewing HS
One of the top prep quarterbacks in New Jersey … three-year starter for head coach John Bamber at Ewing High School … left Ewing as the school's all-time leader in career passing yards (3,834) and touchdown passes (45) … set school single-season record with 18 touchdown passes as a junior … threw for 1,347 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior … rated as the No. 30 prospect in New Jersey by Rivals.com … team finished the year 5-5 and lost in the first round of the Central Jersey Group II state playoffs … excellent all-around athlete who also played basketball and led squad to sectional title as a junior.
Coach John Bamber on Shimko: "Steve had a big impact on our program and was a proven three-year starter who broke many of our school records. He is a tall quarterback with a strong arm. He is a dedicated worker who I think will have a successful collegiate career at Rutgers."
Wide Receiver – 6-3, 190
Brooklyn, N.Y./Fort Hamilton HS (Fork Union Military Academy)
Rated the No. 21 prospect nationally among prep school players by Rivals.com … played one season at Fork Union Military Academy for head coach John Schuman … standout prep performer for Vinnie Laino at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn … caught 38 passes for 680 yards and 12 touchdowns last season at Fork Union … rated as the sixth-best prep school wide receiver in the country by Rivals.com … led Fort Hamilton to a 13-0 record as a senior … led team with 41 receptions for 614 yards and seven touchdowns … also recorded one interception on defense for the Tigers.
Coach Vince Laino on Stroud: "Keith was the best wide receiver we have ever had at Fort Hamilton. He is a tremendous hard worker and has always had his sights on playing at the next level. I am very happy he will have that opportunity at Rutgers University."
Defensive Tackle – 6-3, 260
Central Islip, N.Y./St. Anthony's
One of the most heralded defensive tackles in the nation from a dominant prep program at St. Anthony's on Long Island … three-year starter for coach Rich Reichert … ended his varsity career with a 31-2 record for the Friars … part of a St. Anthony's program that has won seven consecutive CHSFL AAA Championships … posted 71 tackles, including 16 for loss and eight sacks en route to CHSFL Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior … two-time All-Long Island selection by Newsday … rated as the No. 3 prospect in the state of New York and the No. 20 defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com … ESPN.com lists Vallone as the No. 29 defensive tackle in the nation … New York State Sportswriters Association First Team All-State selection as a senior … New York Daily News Player of the Year on Long Island … Second Team All-State as a junior … recorded 47 solo tackles, 41 assists and 13 tackles for loss as a junior with six sacks … first junior to be elected captain at St. Anthony's and was a two-time captain for the Friars.
Coach Rich Reichert on Vallone: "Scott dominated on the high school level but I think his best football is ahead of him. He has great strength, great feet and a non-stop motor. He led by example and worked extremely hard in the weight room and on the practice field."
Wide Receiver/Defensive Back 6-1, 200
Salisbury, Md./Wicomico HS
One of the top playmakers in the state of Maryland … played for coach David Nettles at Wicomico High School … top-rated quarterback recruit in the state of Maryland by Rivals.com … tabbed the No. 15 prospect overall in Maryland and the No. 24 dual-threat quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com … Scout.com lists Warren as the No. 28 quarterback nationally … No. 91 athlete in the country by ESPN.com … played in just five games as a senior due to a knee injury … ran for 236 yards and five touchdowns (8.8 yards per carry) his senior season … 22-of-34 through the air for 416 yards and two touchdowns as a senior as the Indians finished the season 10-1 with a loss in the MPSSAA Class 2A playoffs … as a junior, was 52-of-105 passing for 984 yards and 17 touchdowns in 12 games … ran for 112 yards on 27 carries his junior season … led squad to 11-1 record and an appearance in the MPSSAA Class 2A East Region championship.
Offensive Lineman/6-7, 320
Coram, N.Y./Longwood HS
One of the top offensive line recruits on Long Island … played for coach Chris Meyer at Longwood High School … rated as the No. 10 recruit in the state of New York and the No. 2 offensive line prospect in the Empire State according to Rivals.com … rated the No. 82 offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com … part of a team that finished 8-2 in 2007 and second in Division I on Long Island.
Running Back – 5-11, 170
Teaneck, N.J./Teaneck HS
One of the top all-around running back prospects in the nation … three-year starter for coach Dennis Heck at Teaneck High School … consensus Top 10 recruit in New Jersey … rated as the No. 14 all-purpose running back in the nation by Rivals.com … rushed for 1,463 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior to lead team to the opening round of the state playoffs … First Team All-Bergen County offensive selection by The Record … Second Team All-State by The Star-Ledger as a senior … First Team All-State honoree by the Associated Press as a junior after rushing for 2,386 yards and 26 touchdowns … The Record's Offensive Player of the Year as a junior … was the lone underclassman running back on the AP All-State squad as a junior … rushed for 1,400 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore for the Highwaymen … finished prep career with 5,044 yards and 53 touchdowns.
Coach Dennis Heck on White: "Rashad is one of the toughest players I have ever coached. He is someone who gained over 5,000 career yards and he never missed practice. I have never coached a kid who has speed like Rashad. He has an extra gear and can take it to another level."
Wide Receiver - 6-4, 205
Wall Township, N.J./Wall HS
Versatile athlete who played tailback, wide receiver, cornerback and safety in leading Wall to a 5-5 record in 2007 … three-year starter for head coach Chris Barnes ... consensus Top 15 recruit in New Jersey ... rushed for 383 yards and three touchdowns while hauling in 23 receptions for 347 yards and six TDs ... rushed for 141 yards vs. Matawan ... caught four passes for 113 yards and two TDs vs. Middletown South ... Second Team All-Shore by the Asbury Park Press ... First Team All-Shore by The Star-Ledger ... ranked No. 11 in New Jersey by Rivals.com and No. 10 in the state by Scout.com.
Coach Chris Barnes on Wright: "Without question, Timothy is one of the most versatile athletes we have had at Wall. He has speed, explosiveness, strength and size – everything you want in a skill position guy. He had a major impact on our program and he is a great young man who made a difference in the community as well."