Hello guys, my name is Fur and this is my first article for Student Union Sports, so lets just get right into it. The other day I was on twitter and saw this tweet.

Now remember, I’m New Jersey born and raised, my father went to Rutgers as well so obviously I have to “clap back” and defend my home turf because if I don’t then why even bother being on twitter.

Okay, maybe not much of a shot back at him but hey, Jersey high school football is some of the best in the country, Don Bosco Prep, St Joes Montvale, St Peters Prep, Bergen Catholic, Paramus Catholic and DePaul just to new a few schools who have produced an insane amount of talent.

So according to Chief, New Jersey has produced the running backs for these four schools, mainly Jonathan Taylor at Wisconsin. Akrum Wadley graduated from Iowa, Kareem Walker is transferring from Michigan and I’m pretty sure he was thinking of Brandon Wimbush (Actually a QB) when he brought up Notre Dame…because to my knowledge, there isn’t a running back on the Notre Dame roster from New Jersey. One of the big time misses here for Rutgers was Jonathan Taylor, who finished third in rushing totals as a freshman with 1,977 rushing yards, behind another former badger, Ron Dayne and some guy named Adrian Peterson who may be the best running back of all time.

Taylor was at one point committed to Rutgers but chose to run behind a future NFL offensive line because that’s all Wisconsin is really good at, e.g. Travis Fredrick, Joe Thomas, Ricky Wagner, Kevin Zeitler and Ryan Ramczyk who were all first round picks besides Wagner. Alright, back to some guys who have left New Jersey and who could have helped Rutgers immediately.

Lets look at the 2018 NFL Draft to start, from Penn State you had Saquon Barkley who guess what..

Yes Saquon was once committed to Rutgers, I’m sure a lot of you know this and are going to argue “well he was from the Bronx that’s not in New Jersey” okay sure but New York doesn’t have a college football team, don’t try to tell me its The University of Buffalo, its like 6 hours north from where Barkley grew up. Barkley was the second overall pick in this years draft. Barkley was a three-year letter winner as well but what if he stayed home… Heisman winner ?

Four picks later a man I played against and most likely a future hall of famer was selected, Quenton Nelson. Not a humble brag but I did take him down in a freshman basketball game but he pancaked me in a football game so it’s a tie. Nelson was a unanimous All-American last year while playing at Notre Dame. It shouldn’t be any surprise however, watch #56, look how this man destroys people and just takes their soul.

Five picks later was a defensive back who was actually born in New Brunswick, which for those of you that don’t know is where Rutgers is located. Minkah Fitzpatrick played at St Peters Prep in high school and grew up only 20 minutes south of Rutgers. Fitzpatrick was a two-time unanimous All-American and SEC player while starting all three years at Alabama. During his junior year which ended up being his last because he decided to declare early, he won the Chuck Bednarik award (best defensive player in college) and Jim Thorpe award (best defensive back in college).

The next guy is actually a teammate of Fitzpatrick’s in the NFL, Mike Gesicki. He was a dominant tight end during his time at Penn State. He may have not been the best blocking tight end but his receiving may have been the best in all of college football last year… also it doesn’t hurt that he looks like a young Gronk. Gesicki is what we here in New Jersey consider a shore guy. He may not pump his fist or even gas but he did pump his way into the end zone his senior year with nine touchdowns, bad analogy.

Looking at the 2016 top prospects according to 247 sports, the most notable is Rashan Gary who looks to be another first round pick in next years draft. He was considered the top prospect not only in New Jersey but also the country, similar to Jabrill Peppers who played at Paramus Catholic and Michigan. Some other guys who could potentially be big losses for Rutgers and the state of New Jersey include Anthony Brown who will be the starting quarterback at Boston College this year. Brown is from Matawan, New jersey and played at St John Vianney. Meanwhile, Will Fries who starts on the Penn State offensive line came out of Cranford, New Jersey and also looks to be another future NFL draft pick that got away.

Looking at this list, its pretty easy to see the impact these players could have made if they had went to Rutgers. I was at the infamous Rutgers/Louisville game where they beat Louisville and created “Pandemonium in Piscataway”. Imagine having a backfield of Barkley, Taylor and Wadley. I’m not here saying Rutgers doesn’t keep talent in state, as Artur Sitowski and Bo Melton look to be a formidable Jersey combo one day in the Big Ten. For now though, lets just cry and think of some of the “what ifs”.

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