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February 1, 2007

Rutgers does well in Jersey Top 30

New Jersey is known for producing top football talent year in and year out and this past year was no different in the Garden State. Like most years a lot of that talent is heading out of state led by our No. 1, wide receiver Duval Kamara. However, Rutgers showed a vast improvement in retaining some of the Rivals.com final postseason New Jersey top 30 talent after their remarkable season.

Although Rutgers didn't finish up with the top player in-state, they got close as the preseason No. 1 player dropped a spot to No. 2. Charlie Weis took advantage of his Jersey connections by helping to pull in some of the top talent including the No. 1 player, Hoboken, N.J. wide receiver Duval Kamara. The 6-foot-5, 209-pounder had a solid senior season in which he registered 26 receptions for 628 yards and nine touchdowns. He should be a nice compliment for the No. 1 player in the country, quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

Rutgers pull in the No. 2 prospect in-state, landing mammoth 6-foot-5, 341-pound offensive guard Anthony Davis. Davis participated in the U.S. Army All-American game and has incredible upside.

Notre Dame once again plucked a talented prospect out of Jersey in Cherry Hill (N.J.) Camden Catholic tight end Mike Ragone who stayed at the No. 3 spot. The 6-foot-4, 221-pounder registered 34 receptions for 488 yards as a senior.

The Scarlet Knights landed another one of the state's top five prospects in Union City (N.J.) Union Hill linebacker Manny Abreu. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder moved up one spot after posting 93 tackles and eight sacks as a senior. He should be a force on Greg Schiano's defense.

Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep defensive end Justin Trattou caps the top five after a stunning year in which he registered 82 tackles and 17 sacks. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder will be taking his aggressive style of play to Gainesville.

Four-star athlete Tony Logan out of Piscataway, N.J. comes in at No. 6 after recording 1,500 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder will utilize his versatility at Maryland.

Rutgers pulled in the No. 7 prospect in the state in athlete Mason Robinson who made the biggest leap in the rankings jumping up 19 spots from No. 26. Robinson registered 1,700 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior.

Louisville quarterback Matt Simms out of Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep moved up one spot to No. 8. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder will look to continue the quarterback success for the Cardinals under new head coach Steve Kragthorpe.

Boston College pulled out a linebacker from the Garden State in Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep star Will Thompson. The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder should fit in nicely on defense for new head coach Jeff Jagodzinski.

Rutgers landed No. 10 and 11 with commitments from 6-foot-7, 280-pound defensive end Keith Newell and defensive tackle Wayne Thomas. Newell moved up eight spots, while Thomas dropped three.

North Bergen, N.J. safety Evan Rodriguez comes in at No. 12. The 6-foot-2, 211-pounder will be headed to Morgantown to play for Rich Rodriguez. No. 13 goes to bruising, 6-foot-2, 242-pound running back Devon Ramsay. The Red Bank (N.J.) Lawrenceville Prep star ran for over 1,000 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. He's deciding between North Carolina and Maryland.

Rutgers again pulls out an in-state prospect in cornerback Al-Majid Hutchins who moved up five spots to No. 14. The Terrapins pulled in two more prospects at No. 15 and No. 16 with commitments from linebacker Ben Pooler and cornerback Dominique Herald. Pooler moved up one spot, while Herald jumped 12 in the final rankings.

Pompton Lakes, N.J. wide receiver O.J. Woodard slid four spots to No. 17. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder committed to Cincinnati. He was followed up by Florida State commitment Anthony Grosso. The 6-foot-6, 290-pounder moved up 11 spots to No. 18.

Maryland added two more commitments to round out the top 20 with pledges from offensive tackles Bearthur Johnson at No. 19 and Joe Faiella at No. 20. The humongous, 6-foot-7, 350-pound Johnson dropped five spots, while Faiella moved into the rankings completely after being left out in the preseason.

Paterson (N.J.) John F. Kennedy quarterback Chris Johnson slipped four spots to No. 21. The 6-foot-2, 202-pounder is headed north to Boston College. Running back Malcolm Harris followed close behind moving up two spots to No. 22. He's headed off to Purdue.

Tight end Matt Boyer remains at No. 23. The Berkeley Heights (N.J.) Governor Livingston prospect is headed to the Ivy League with Princeton.

Rutgers came in with two more commitments at No. 24 and No. 25 from linebackers Al-Ghaffaar Lane and Alex Silvestro. Lane dropped four spots, while Silvestro moved up five.

Rounding out the New Jersey postseason top 30 is Bayonne (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep running back Shariff Harris who'll be headed to Pittsburgh. He joins the list after not being ranked in the preseason. Syracuse comes in at the No. 27 spot with linebacker Mike Mele out of Manasquan, N.J. Purdue once again makes their presence felt in New Jersey with another commitment from wide receiver Waynelle Gravesande at No. 28.

Burlington (N.J.) Burlington Township wide receiver Kashif Moore checks in at No. 29. The 5-foot-10, 179-pounder is headed to Connecticut. Wrapping up the list at No. 30 is Rutgers offensive tackle commitment Desmond Stapleton.



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