The Rutgers football team continued its busy summer on Monday, landing Jahzion Harris and adding another piece to the defensive line. Harris, who redshirted last season, comes to the Scarlet Knights after transferring from Texas A&M and will have four years of eligibility.
As part of the Class of 2021, Harris was rated as a high four-star recruit, the second-best player from New York and the 15th-best edge rusher in the nation. He was recruited by head coach Greg Schiano, making Rutgers one of his final five options before ultimately committing to the Aggies.
The defensive lineman will have a sense of familiarity in his new home as he joins five other players from Rutgers who attended Erasmus Hall. The Brooklyn-based high school's alumni includes senior wide receivers Aron Cruickshank and Sean Ryan, freshman linebacker Moses Walker and senior defensive backs Kessawn Abraham and Christian Izien.
Harris will join a unit that will try to replace the production of junior defensive lineman Mohamed Toure, who will miss the entire 2022 season after suffering an injury in spring camp that required surgery. Toure led the Knights in sacks in both 2020 and 2021. Walker will also miss this season after tearing his ACL in spring practice.
Despite the setback on the defensive line, the unit still has a lot to look forward to this year. Defensive line coach Marquise Watson was selected to the 30Under30 list released by 247Sports, which highlights 30 rising stars in the coaching field who are under 30. Watson joined Schiano’s staff in January after two seasons at Ole Miss and was a defensive assistant at Rutgers in 2018.
Senior defensive lineman Mayan Ahanotu also was highlighted in the preseason with his selection to the Wuerffel Trophy watch list. The award honors players who participate in community service, acknowledging Ahanotu's work with the Chop4Change initiative.
Despite redshirting, Harris made two appearances for Texas A&M in his freshman season. He recorded four tackles and one sack in the two non-conference games while seeing the field for just 26 snaps.
Harris’s commitment came just one day before the Knights officially started their summer practice. He will be working on strength and conditioning programs before being worked into on-field activities.
“He missed all of that, so he’s way behind,” Schiano said. “He’s just going to work at it. I’m excited to have him here.”
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