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Four pieces of July recruiting news for Rutgers football

The Rutgers football team has been active in the July recruitment period. – Photo by Hamza Azeem

Even with training camp underway in preparation for the season opener in just under a month, the Rutgers football team and head coach Greg Schiano are still doing work on the recruiting trail. July was a relatively quiet month for recruiting compared to June due to the recruiting dead period, but there were still storylines to look out for.

Two top commits team up for the senior season

On July 12, three-star running back Gabriel Winowich, who committed to the Scarlet Knights in January, announced he would be transferring from Detroit County Day School in Michigan to Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He joins fellow Rutgers commit A.J. Surace in the backfield as he serves as the team's starting quarterback.

"I'm really excited to get out there and play with him, and (he's the) quarterback of the future at Rutgers," Winowich said to Scarlet Nation. "I know he's a grinder (with) how he's working and preparing at practice and how he's gonna be doing that at the next level. I'm excited to get out and work with him, get the handoffs down and run routes for him all day."

Relocating to New Jersey not only teams him up with his college quarterback, but it also means he will be much closer to the Knights' campus and can have easier access to the coaching staff.

Knights reach out to several recruits for 2025

August 1 marked the first day recruits for the class of 2025 can officially receive contact from college coaches. The staff took full advantage of this date by contacting several targets with recruiting graphics. This includes three-star wide receiver Jourdin Houston from Connecticut, three-star offensive tackle Nathan Pahanich from the Hun School in New Jersey, four-star defensive tackle Bryce Jenkins from Washington, D.C., four-star linebacker DJ McClary and several others.

It is important for the staff to ride the momentum of a strong 2024 class currently ranked 28th nationally, according to Rivals. Making contact with some key targets for 2025 as soon as possible is a good start. Expanding Rutgers' recruiting territory is something Schiano has emphasized, and it has shown in where they send its offers.

Future targets come together for recruiting barbecue

Last weekend, Schiano hosted a slew of recruits for a barbecue weekend, including the top targets in New Jersey for the classes of 2025 and 2026. Saturday brought together all of the commits for the class of 2024, plus one that has yet to announce his decision.

Current Knights that attended last year's barbecue that ended up committing to the program include freshmen wide receivers Ian Strong and Dylan Braithwaite, along with current commits such as Surace, Winowich, tight end Korey Duff Jr., offensive tackle Kenny Jones and linebacker Sam Pilof.

Bringing commits and future recruits alike together could be a springboard for bringing more players into the program and should continue the upward momentum in recruiting.

Caden Brown momentum picking up steam

Caden Brown, a three-star defensive end out of Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, was the lone 2024 representative over the weekend that has not committed to any school yet. But momentum seems to be building for Brown to eventually commit to Rutgers. The coaching staff has reportedly done very well with his recruitment, but his decision still seems a distance away.

There are plenty of factors that favor the Knights in Brown's recruitment. Erasmus Hall has almost become a pipeline for Rutgers, especially since Schiano's return. Several players have either committed to play for the Knights out of high school or joined the program via the transfer portal. Defensive line coach Marquise Watson has become a tremendous recruiter for his position and has already landed Brown's teammate Aaris Bethea on the line.

The explosive pass rusher has several Power Five offers and has a top four list of all Big Ten schools, including Rutgers, Maryland, Michigan State and Penn State, but look out for the Knights to push hard to gain his commitment.

Rutgers has remained busy in the offseason with hopes to bring success in the future.

For more updates on the Rutgers football team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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