A Look at Rutgers’ Incoming Freshman Class

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Several players have size, speed, talent to contribute right away

When the Rutgers Scarlet Knights signed their class of 2010, they were immediately the most heralded class the school had ever signed – until the class of 2011 signed their names on the dotted lines.  This class has the type of potential that in 10-15 years down the line, they will be looked back upon as the class that helped RU turn the corner.  In some instances we are already starting to see the impact of the class of 2011, such as the commitments of top 2012 players like Leonte Carroo, as well as being contenders for 5-star DE Darius Hamilton.  Now as camp gets into full swing, we are starting to see the impact the Class of 2011 will have ON the field.  Here’s a player-by-player look at each of the recruits in the 2011 class and what kind of impact we think they will have this season.


Jonathan Aiken, CB – Aiken was one of the few EE for the Class of 2011.  While he possesses good size and speed, there just seems to be way too much competition for him to jump into the fray right away.

Prediction: Plays on special teams and coverage units

Mike Bimonte, QB - Bimonte has good size and a nice zip on the ball, but there’s no chance he unseats Chas Dodd.  What he is really competing for is the backup QB spot.

Prediction: Redshirt

Paul Canevari, RB/FB - Canevari was ultra-productive on the national championship Don Bosco team, but does not have overwhelming measureables.  That being said, after seeing what he did his senior year at Bosco, I wouldn’t bet against him.

Predicition: Tough as nails, sees time on specials and eventually gets groomed for fullback role

Charles Davis, CB – N/A

Prediction: JUCO

Anthony DiPaula, K/P – DiPaula appears to be the heir apparent to San San Te next year at Kicker, but this year he should challenge to be the Punter.

Prediction: Holds off the walk-on competition and is the starting Punter Week 1.

Quentin Gause, LB – Gause is a physical freak of nature, having the build of a college linebacker before he ever stepped on campus.  He is also coming in at a position of thin depth.

Prediction: Gause will play on all specials as a true freshman and will crack the 2 deep at LB by season opener.  Don’t be surprised if by midseason the combination of starting LBs is Gause, Beauharnais, and Greene.

Kyle George, DE – Another physically developed player who has all the tools to make an impact from Day 1.  DE may be the second thinnest position behind LB, which works in George’s favor.

Prediction: It seems very likely that George and Max Issaka will both see a great deal of playing time as true freshman, especially in pass rushing situations.  Because of the lack of depth here, he should be in the rotation early and if he outplays Isaaka, he may even earn a starting spot at one DE.

Dallas Hendrickson, C- Hendrickson is a JUCO transfer who was expected to start at Center from the day he stepped on campus until a knee injury derailed him.

Prediction: Redshirt

Savon Huggins, RB – The most highly touted skill-position recruit to EVER commit to Rutgers, he has Freshman All-American potential and is physically and mentally mature beyond his years.

Prediction: Huggins will be RU’s starting tailback sooner rather than later, with a good possibility the sooner being Week 1.

Max Issaka, DE – One of the handful of former Pitt commits to flip to RU when Hafley & Co. came to the Banks, Issaka has the size and speed necessary to be an impact DE from Day 1.

Prediction: He will crack the 2 deep by the end of camp and see extensive playing time this season, especially in passing and nickel situations.

Myles Jackson, DE – Jackson was one of the later offers RU gave out and while he certainly has the frame to work with, he is going to need some time in a strength and conditioning program, as well as an opportunity to truly learn the defensive end position.

Prediction: Redshirt

Kaleb Johnson, OG – Johnson comes to RU as one of the strongest players on the team already and he has been spoken very highly of by Coach Schiano thus far.

Prediction: Should be on the two deep at the guard slot opposite Lowery, with an outside chance to start at some point later this season.

Tejay Johnson, WR – Johnson had to spend a year at Fork Union upon graduation to get his grades in order, but reports out of camp so far is that he looks good and runs fast-very fast.

Prediction: This is a tossup because of the depth at WR, but I’ll say he ends up playing on the return teams (KR/PR) and sees some playing time in the slot, allowing RU to redshirt Miles Shuler.

Kenneth Kirksey, DT - A teammate of Johnson’s at Fork Union this past season, Kirksey is very well put together for a DT and because of the uncertainty opposite Scott Vallone, the opportunity for PT is there.

Prediction: Kirksey takes advantage of the lack of depth along the DL and sees extended playing time, even earning a few starts.

Tyler Kroft, TE - Kroft looks like he will be the tight end of the future for Rutgers, especially given the emphasis OC Frank Cignetti puts on the position.

Prediction – Redshirt

Keith Lumpkin, OT – An absolute mammoth of a young man, Lumpkin is already the tallest lineman on the Rutgers squad, but needs some time to get stronger and learn the position more and improve his technique.

Prediction – Redshirt

Ben Martin, RB – Martin certainly has the speed to be an asset at the RB position, recording a sub 4.4 last summer, but in a crowded backfield that features Savon Huggins and some talented veterans, carries will be hard to come by.

Prediction – Redshirt

Djwany Mera, DE/DT – Whether Mera plays DE or DT, one thing is for certain, he IS going to play.

Prediction - Mera will be a starter at some point this season on the DL.

Gary Nova, QB – Nova doesn’t possess the size that Bimonte does, but as far as intangibles go, he falls into that Mike Teel-type category.

Prediction – Nova beats out Bimonte and is Chas Dodd’s primary backup, getting some PT sporadically.

Al Page, DT – One of 4 true DTs that RU signed in the Class of 2011, Page is a wildcard at the DT position.

Prediction - I think between Kirksey, Mera, and the veterans, it allows Page to redshirt unless he blows up during camp.

Miles Shuler, WR – Shuler is one of the fastest football players in the entire country and while it’s hard to keep that kind of speed on the sidelines, this will be his first season as a true wide receiver.

Prediction – Unfortunately for fans, Shuler redshirts and they have to wait a year to see that blazing speed spread the field.

Kevin Snyder, LB – Snyder has some great size for a linebacker and also moves well sideline-to-sideline.  There has also been some talk of moving him to tight end.

Prediction: Snyder stays at LB, becoming part of the rotation and also plays on specials.

Daryl Stephenson, DT – Similar to Page, Stephenson will be a force at DT down the line, but unless he explodes during camp, it looks like he’ll redshirt this season.

Prediction: Redshirt

Marquise Wright, DT - Wright has the tools and talent to make an impact right away, but it remains to be seen whether he will stay at DT or move to Guard.

Prediction: Redshirt, as they decide where to keep him permanently.


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A Look at Rutgers' Incoming Freshman Class by

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