More than a month into the Rutgers football team's offseason, head coach Greg Schiano and his staff are ramping up the recruiting momentum fresh off a winning season and Pinstripe Bowl victory. With the entirety of the 2024 class signing during December's early signing period, the Scarlet Knights' focus is now set on building a strong 2025 recruiting class.
With some commits as well as many visits already underway, Schiano and company have kept busy recruiting Rutgers' future.
Late-night 2025 commitment
Shortly after the men's basketball team's victory over Maryland on Tuesday, fans of the Knights got even more good news, as 2025 three-star athlete Talibi Kaba pledged his commitment to Rutgers on social media.
Kaba plays for Hillside High School in New Jersey and played on both sides of the ball for the Comets, leading their rushing attack with 1,117 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.
The athlete tag for Kaba's position opens up a bit of ambiguity about where he will play at the next level, but it seems like he might be best suited to play linebacker.
His athleticism, combined with a strong 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame with room to grow, gives him a good base to continue to hone his skills on the defensive end. Kaba could especially do so under the tutelage of defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Joe Harasymiak, who has a strong player development track record at all defensive positions with the team.
Kaba is currently unranked on Rivals but holds three-star status on 247Sports as New Jersey's 12th-ranked player in the class. He received six other offers prior to committing. Kaba joins Florida quarterback Sean Ashenfelder, who committed in September.
The program hosts several high-caliber recruits for junior day visits
While the Knights only have two commits in the class of 2025 thus far, that does not mean they are not doing plenty of work to bring that number up.
Over the past few weeks, the staff hosted several underclassmen as part of its junior day recruiting efforts. They visited the campus and were able to watch the Rutgers men's basketball primetime matchup against Purdue. Several of these recruits are highly touted and would be huge boosts to the program if they opt to join the Knights.
One of those is three-star cornerback Renick Dorilas from Union High School. Dorilas recently posted his top five schools, with Rutgers included alongside the Nittany Lions, Tennessee, Syracuse and West Virginia.
There has been a Rivals FutureCast submitted for Dorilas to commit to the Knights, meaning there is some confidence from certain media that he will eventually end up at Rutgers. While a FutureCast for a player to commit to a school is not a certainty, these forecasts from insiders show the momentum Schiano and his staff are gaining in recruitment for the Knights.
Schiano chopper touches down all over the Northeast
One of the perks Schiano made sure to negotiate in his return to Rutgers back in 2019 was the use of a helicopter or private jet for recruiting purposes. With recruiting being a focus during the offseason months, fans are beginning to see why the head coach made such a shrewd demand.
Schiano has flown in to see several recruits across the Northeast in an effort to show his dedication toward these top targets.
On January 12, Schiano flew north to visit Bergen Catholic, looking to recruit four-star wide receiver Quincy Porter, New Jersey's top-ranked player in the class of 2025. The Knights are looking to cash in on another Crusader after signing four-star defensive back Kaj Sanders in the class of 2024.
On January 30, Schiano — flanked by running backs coach Damiere Shaw and offensive line coach Pat Flaherty — traveled down to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, to visit four-star offensive lineman Michael Carroll, one of the top interior linemen in the 2025 class.
A day later, Schiano took a trip to the Jersey Shore and visited Atlantic City High School to recruit three-star wide receiver Sah'nye Degraffenreidt, a top-20 player in New Jersey in the class of 2025.
While it is difficult to know for sure just how much of an impact Schiano's splash visits have on recruits, the use of the helicopter, which is paid for by private funds and donations, shows these prospects the lengths the Rutgers coaching staff will go to flex its recruiting muscle in bringing top talent to the Banks.
As the offseason moves forward, Schiano and his staff will continue to search for the next generation of Knights who can keep the program's upward trajectory moving, especially in an ever-changing landscape of college sports.
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