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Rutgers football hosts recruits in November as 2024 commitments wind down

Three-star class of 2024 quarterback AJ Surace shined in his senior season at Notre Dame High School. – Photo by @NJ_Sports /

The Rutgers football team has defied expectations this season, having clinched a bowl game appearance in October. Though the Scarlet Knights (6-3, 3-3) are in the midst of a successful season on the Banks, they are still on the recruiting trail, trying to capitalize on their positive momentum.

Here is who Rutgers has been hosting on the recruiting front and how its commits have been doing in October and November.

Rutgers commits from Notre Dame High School close out careers with strong performances

Three-star quarterback AJ Surace's and three-star running back Gabriel Winowich's high school careers ended following a 51-41 loss to Paul VI in the first round of the NJSIAA Non-Public A playoffs.

In the shootout, Surace threw for 250 yards with three touchdowns and one interception while also notching 96 yards on the ground. Winowich ran for 193 yards and three touchdowns of his own on 26 rushing attempts. He also made three catches for 73 yards.

The week prior, Notre Dame traveled down to Baltimore to face off against St. Frances Academy. The Irish won 28-21 behind two more strong performances from the Rutgers-bound seniors. While Surace only threw for 25 yards, he rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown. Winowich starred in the contest, rushing for 175 yards and three touchdowns on 29 attempts.

The two close out their high school careers with eye-popping numbers in their sole season playing together. In his first season in New Jersey, Winowich ran for 1,161 yards and scored 15 touchdowns in just eight games.

Surace threw for 1,862 yards and 26 touchdowns, with just two interceptions in his senior season. He also proved to be a dual-threat quarterback, rushing for a career-high 909 yards and 15 touchdowns. Surace and Winowich combined to create a dynamic offensive attack for the Irish and will look to combine again once they are on the Banks.

The two will likely join the Knights for spring practice and officially kick off their collegiate careers.

Rutgers hosts several top recruits for matchup with Ohio State

Rutgers hosted several recruits, committed and non-committed, for its game against Ohio State.

Despite the Knights' loss to the Buckeyes (9-0, 6-0), many recruits attending the game had to have been impressed by the environment and Rutgers’ first-half performance.

The list of visiting recruits included verbally committed players like Surace, Winowich, four-star safety Kaj Sanders, four-star tight end Korey Duff Jr., three-star defensive lineman Aaris Bethea, three-star wide receiver Kevin Levy, three-star offensive lineman Kenny Jones and three-star safety Antonio White.

The Knights also hosted several recruits from the 2025, 2026 and even 2027 classes that have yet to commit to a school.

Those that hail from New Jersey include class of 2025 three-star offensive lineman Jayden Elijah, class of 2025 four-star running back John Forster, class of 2025 three-star cornerback Renick Dorilas, class of 2026 defensive lineman Jermaine Kinsler and class of 2027 athlete Jonathan Galette.

Many of these players also hold several other Power Five offers, so Rutgers will have plenty of competition in recruiting.

The success of this year’s team and the upward momentum of the 2024 class means head coach Greg Schiano could have further success recruiting the 2025 class and beyond.

Schiano recaps the impact of the 2020 recruiting class amid a breakout season

During the team's bye week, Schiano recapped the hectic process of recruiting the 2020 class that was heavily affected by the pandemic.

That 2020 class included several players that later became standouts on the Banks, including junior running back Kyle Monangai, junior linebacker Tyreem Powell, junior cornerbacks Max Melton and Robert Longerbeam, junior wide receiver Chris Long and junior defensive lineman Rene Konga.

Schiano only had 11 days after being hired to visit and recruit players, but was still able to put together a strong class that has helped fuel the Knights’ breakout season.

"Yeah, 11 days. It was crazy," Schiano said. "Eric Josephs (director of player personnel) was the key. He was here when we got here, he directed. It was Nunz (Nunzio Campanile), me and Eric Josephs, that was it. That was our army."

With Rutgers in the midst of its strongest season in almost a decade, Schiano and his staff will look to continue to bring in players like the ones he recruited in 2020 and develop them into the next generation of stars on the gridiron. As always, there will be plenty of recruits and targets to look out for as the national early signing period for football begins on December 20.

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

To view more of Alec Crouthamel's work, follow @aleccr12 on X.

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