OL Commit Nick Krimin Visits Elsewhere, but Coach Says He’s Solid to Rutgers

Nick Krimin

Nick Krimin, who is one of New Jersey’s top junior linemen, committed to Rutgers in February. He is quickly becoming one of the cornerstones of the Knights’ highly anticipate 2016 Dream Team.

Although still learning the game, the 6-6, 305-pounder is big, strong, athletic and has all the essential tools for him to grow into one of the Big Ten’s best.

Hence, why Rutgers fans were a bit uneasy when rumors arose that Krimin had taken junior day visits to Duke two weeks ago, and Penn State last weekend, though the Nittany Lions have yet to offer.

Head coach Casey Ransone of St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, confirmed the visits, but strongly believes there’s no cause for concern, stating Krimin is solidly committed to Rutgers.

“He made the decision to go to Rutgers. He’s not gonna de-commit, in my opinion,” Ransone said. “He’s very happy there, he’s so comfortable there. I think he just wanted to take those visits to kind of evaluate other schools just to confirm his decision to go to Rutgers. I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with that. He hasn’t visited any other schools prior to making that commitment to Rutgers. I think he just wanted to kind of go and see what the other schools are and kind of confirm this is definitely where I want to go and I made the right decision. There is no doubt in my mind that he made the right decision and he’s comfortable there, so I don’t think Rutgers’ fans or anybody has to worry about that.

“And I understand their concern when the see that. With the way things go nowadays, kids de-commit and say they are going here or there. I don’t think Nick Krimin is that kind of kid based on the conversations that I’ve had with him. He’s very comfortable with his decision and he has told me, ‘There is really no chance of me de-committing.’ So I don’t think there is really anything to worry about.”

Ransone says Krimin’s visits to Duke and Penn State were scheduled prior to his Rutgers commitment.

“These visits he had planned prior to committing to Rutgers, so it’s not like he went and made these appointments to go visit or scheduled these visits after he committed to Rutgers,” he said. “These things were already scheduled. He planed on going to them prior to his commitment. And that might have also played a role too, that he made a commitment to go see those schools and he wanted to honor that commitment and evaluate them, but there is no reason for concern.”

Krimin, the No. 18 recruit in the NJ.com Top 50, plays with good flexibility, balance and agility. He displays good initial quickness and the ability to reach block the defensive end.

Also, he competes with a good base and the type of leg drive that allows for him to sustain contact. He runs well and is an efficient down-field blocker, but stands out most during pass protection downs.

Krimin currently has two years of football experience going into his senior year.


Notre Dame Sends Recruiting Letter to Current Rutgers Football Player

Chris Muller Rutgers

Notre Dame might need to go through its recruiting database and do a little spring cleaning.

The Fighting Irish apparently sent a letter to offensive lineman Chris Muller, inviting him to their June football camp. The funny thing is, Muller is currently a junior at Rutgers and thus not eligible to be recruited by Notre Dame.

According to NJ.com, Muller posted a photo of the letter on his Twitter account Saturday. It was complete with the signature of Notre Dame director of football operations, Chad Klunder. He included the phrase, “Well this is awkward.” Muller later deleted the tweet.

Muller, originally from Perkiomenville, Pa., was a 4-star prospect out of high school. Notre Dame was among the long list of schools that offered him a scholarship before he chose Rutgers.

The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Muller has started 25 games at right guard for the Scarlet Knights the last two seasons, including all 13 in 2014.


Scarlet Knights at the NFL Combine

Former Rutgers FB Michael Burton is getting ready to enter the spotlight at the NFL scouting combine, which officially began Tuesday in Indianapolis.

It was a bit surprising that Burton earned a combine invite, as only three fullbacks will be featured in the field of 323 participants.

Burton had nearly no rushing stats last season at Rutgers, with just one carry for two yards. On the other hand, his lead-blocking skills were crucial to Rutgers’ success on the ground. The 6-foot, 230-pounder added 15 catches for 150 yards, do the math…

Burton’s contributions caught the eye of NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock.

“There are two things I like. One, if you’re going to be a fullback in the NFL, you have to be a tough guy. And he is a tough guy, and he’s been a lead blocker,” Mayock said during a conference call on Monday afternoon. “I think he also catches the football and that’s important. I don’t really care about him as a runner, but he’s got to be able on play-action to sneak out in the flat and catch it, which he does.”

With a strong showing at the combine, Burton could see his stock rise and potentially weasel his way into the late rounds of the draft. Only 3 fullbacks were selected in last year’s draft, none of whom were selected before the 211th pick.

Draft position is less of a concern than finding a fit. Just 19 of the 32 NFL teams employ a fullback.

“Fullbacks don’t get drafted very high in this league,” Mayock said. “Whether he gets drafted or not is not really important. What’s important is that he gets into an offense that values that position and he gets into the right camp.”

Burton will arrive in Indianapolis on Wednesday. He will undergo medical examinations, physical measurements and team interviews on Thursday. Friday will consist of psychological testing, the bench press test and team interviews. Finally, the ever anticipated on-field workout on Saturday.

Former Rutgers tight end Tyler Kroft will also be a participant at the combine. The tight ends are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday. Kroft has medical examinations, physical measurements and team interviews on Wednesday; psychological testing, the bench press test and team interviews on Thursday; and the on-field workout on Friday.


Rutgers Football 2015 Recruiting Class – RB Charles Snorweah

Running back has evolved into a position where teams increase depth due to its physical nature. Long gone are the days where load backs constantly carried the ball 30 times per game. Many teams nowadays employ a one-two punch – Running Back by Committee (RBBC) – for 2 reasons. First, it keeps a fresh back in the game at all times. Secondly, it gives the defense 2 different styles of attack to prepare for. Kind of a no-brainer, right?

So, were the Scarlet Knights able to add depth to the running back deoth chart within the recruiting class of 2015?

Rutgers was able to sign Charles Snorweah, a 5-10, 175 pounder from Fairless Hilla, PA. Snorweah is the only player the staff added at running back, but he is definitely a good one. During the 2014 season at Pennsbury High School, he rushed for 2,805 yards and 39 TDs, breaking multiple team and Bucks County records along the way. He will move on to Rutgers as one of the most productive high school players to ever play in the Keystone State.

Snorweah is a power runner, elusive enough to slip tackles at times as opposed to taking defenders head on, all the time. He’s a down-hill back built low to the ground, who breaks out of his cuts with great explosiveness. He has also shown the patience to allow blocks to develop downfield and cut off his offensive lineman.

Snorweah, a 3-star recruit, can stretch and cut as well as stick his foot in the ground and find daylight backside. His speed is better than sufficient, but not elite, although he’s shown the ability to pull away from DBs in the open-field.

The one other player within the class with a chance to take hand-offs out of the backfield is Ronnie James, a 5-11, 185-pounder from Glassboro, NJ. He has great potential on the defensive side of the ball, but currently, he’s more of a natural with the ball in his hands. He has extraordinary vision, lateral quickness and long speed. But it should be expected that he will start out in the defensive backfield.

With running back being one of the deepest positions on Rutgers’ roster, the Scarlet Knights were content to finish the class with only one player projected to the position in Snorweah. An early commitment from Saquon Barkley — a 4-star recruit also from Pennsylvania — seemed like a great start for the 2015 recruiting team, but he later flipped to Penn State. Snorweah, although undersized, is impressive in his own right, as he absorbs contact and can run in between the tackles with balance and power.

Whether Snorweah remains at running back is yet to be determined, as he also projects to safety and cornerback, positions he’s expressed interest in playing. But he’d likely touch the field as a ball carrier within his first couple years on the banks due to the quality of his skill-set, highlighted by his instincts and ability to finish off the run.


Signed Recruit – QB Michael Dare

Wednesday, February 4: Michael Dare, the 6-5, 200-pound quarterback from Elmwood Park, signed with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Named as the No. 32 recruit in the NJ.com Top 50, Dare bypassed interest from Boston College and Virginia.

“I totally feel like a different person now. I always felt like a recruit, like a commit. But now I actually feel like a player, now I feel like I belong there. I always felt that I belong there, but now I feel like I’m a part of the team, 100 percent.” -Michael Dare

His intentions to join the Scarlet Knights were made clear in June of 2013 when first offered by Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood, following a standout performance at Rutgers camp.

In 2014, Dare was a second-team All-Group 2 offensive selection after throwing for 2,152 yards and 24 TDs (to only five INTs). He is a three-star recruit and No. 16 overall prospect in New Jersey’s 2015 recruiting class.

Dare’s decision to play at Rutgers should come as no surprise, given his connections to the program. He grew up a Scarlet Knights fan and watched his Elmwood Park neighbor, Gary Nova, quarterback the team for 4 years in Piscataway. Dare also took lessons from Mike Teel for about a year, before the former Rutgers quarterback rejoined the program as a graduate assistant last season.

Once Dare finally does make the 42-mile move to Rutgers’ campus this summer, he’ll be ready to gain traction quickly and progress as player.

“I feel like I’m going to go through that process really well,” Dare said. “I just see myself playing there.”


Patriots Bring Four Rutgers Alumni to Super Bowl XLIX

Four former Rutgers players are heading to Super Bowl XLIX. With the New England Patriots’ 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship, former Scarlet Knights Duron Harmon, Devin McCourty, Logan Ryan, and Tim Wright are bound for the big game. With four players, Rutgers football is tied for the most alumni on an active roster in the Super Bowl. Oregon, Texas A&M and Wisconsin each also have four.

The four players will look to add to a list of 11 Super Bowl victories by Rutgers alumni on February 1st in Glendale, Arizona, when they take on the Seattle Seahawks. The last Scarlet Knights with a Super Bowl victory were Ray Rice and Alex Silvestro with the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII. This was also the first time Rutgers saw multiple alumni on a Super Bowl winning team.

For the season, Wright had 26 catches for 259 yards and six touchdowns. McCourty had 68 tackles, 2 interceptions and a forced fumble. Ryan had 42 tackles, 2 interceptions and a forced fumble, while Harmon had 12 tackles and an interception.

Despite the outcome of the game, Rutgers’ fans should be proud of the university’s representation.


Rutgers Scarlet Knights Football 2015 Preview

Season 1 in the Big Ten showed us there is much promise for 2015 on the banks of the Old Raritan…

5 Things to think about for the upcoming 2015 Rutgers Football season:

1. Losing QB Gary Nova might prove more difficult than some think. Many have been relishing the day Gary Nova would no longer be the starting QB. But how easy is it to replace a QB who ranked among the Big Ten leaders in passing yards, passing touchdowns and passing efficiency? Be careful what you wish for Scarlet Knights fans. LSU transfer Hayden Rettig should be the sure candidate to take over Nova’s duties, that assuming he beats out Chris Laviano for the job.

2. RB Paul James will lead the rushing attack. Bold prediction you say, considering freshman Josh Hicks & Robert Martin combined for 302 yards in the Quick Lane Bowl. This may have caused everyone to forget how talented James really is, but if healthy, the senior-to-be will surely be there to remind us.

3. DE Kemoko Turay will top the sacks chart in the Big Ten. He finished 6th in the Big Ten with 7.5 sacks. With an expanded role to come, expect him to climb to the top of the chart. Turay was mostly a pass-rushing specialist last season. As his skill set continues to expand, he should see more field time. Turay should crack double digits in sacks next season.

4. Safety Kiy Hester will make the biggest impact of any freshman. Hester had been one of the top recruits in Rutgers’ 2014 class before his decommitment, and he looked ready to step in while spending the season on the scout team. His explosiveness could bolster a position that has been inconsistent in recent seasons.

5. WR Andre Patton will have a breakout season. The production of Leonte Carroo is a given, as the team’s leading receiver decided to return for his senior year. But Rutgers needs a reliable No. 2 option, and Patton appears ready to fill that role. He had eight catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns in the regular season finale win over Maryland, which displayed his ability as a smooth route runner with good hands. He had a few drops in the bowl game, but finished with three catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.If Patton stays healthy, expect him to build on the strong finish and take his game to the next level.