April 2, 2007

Junior Day a hit in Jersey

Piscataway, N.J. - The fifth annual Rivals.com New Jersey Junior Day was held at the Hale Center at Rutgers University this past Sunday and lured a record number of prospects. As expected, five-star stud Will Hill highlighted a group loaded with 2008 and 2009 talent from numerous states.

Hill checked in at a solid 6-foot-3 and 203 pounds with plenty of room to grow. The St. Peter's star said he'd play cornerback or safety in college and is far from narrowing down his list. However, Rutgers fans have to be happy that Hill listed the Scarlet Knights first on his questionnaire ahead of Florida, Southern Cal, Ohio State and Michigan.

The wide receiver position was well represented at the event led by rising star DeJuan Miller from nearby Metuchen. Miller is quickly nearing double-digit offers and lists Oklahoma, Rutgers, Penn State, Michigan, Oklahoma State and Boston College as his top six. Miller measured in at 6-foot-6 and 207 pounds.

Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln has produced standouts Nyan Boateng and Lansford Watson in each of the last two recruiting years but current junior Khalif StatenKhalif Staten[/db] could end up being the best of the group. Staten, who measured in at 6-foot-3 and 219 pounds, has an early offer from Purdue.

Wideout Lynell Payne from Cherokee High School in Jersey was also physically impressive, measuring in at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds.

But the theme of the day seemed to be impressive looking defenders led by defensive linemen Masengo Kabongo, Jarel Lowery, J.B. Fitzgerald and Eric Legrand. Kabongo, who made the trip from Connecticut, checked in at 6-foot-3 and 279 solid pounds while Lowery was 6-foot-5 and 294 pounds. Both linemen hold offers from Maryland early in the process and Lowery lists the Terps as his leader.

Fitzgerald looks like a prototypical outside linebacker at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds. After Hill, Fitzgerald boasts the most offers from anyone at the event with 13 and lists Michigan, Georgia Tech and Rutgers at the top of his list. LeGrand looks like he'll end up as a defensive tackle with his frame and build. At 6-foot-3 and 263 solid pounds, LeGrand is a good looking prospect. He boasts offers from Rutgers, Maryland and Virginia.

Fellow defenders Chris Pantale and Marquis Spann also look the part. Pantale could be out growing the linebacker position quickly at 6-foot-7 and 233 pounds while Spann has excellent safety size at 6-foot-0 and 209 pounds.

Two big men stood out on the offensive line and it's understandable why each has early interest. Tyler Sands and R.J. Dill from Pennsylvania each boast D1A offers. Sands checked in at 6-foot-6 and 286 pounds while Dill measured 6-foot-8 and 284 pounds.

Two of the smaller prospects receiving interest are both adding size and strength. Teaneck, N.J. running back Rashad White who recently committed to Rutgers, stood in at 5-foot-11 and weighed 164 pounds. Pennsylvania athlete Chris Smith who has a West Virginia offer measured 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds. Smith was a standout at the Ohio vs. USA Kirk Herbstreit Classic last year.

And not to be forgotten, Inwood (W.V.) Musselman kicker Corey Smith, who recently committed to Alabama, looked more like a safety or linebacker at 6-foot-1 and 208 pounds.

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