Long-term recruiting effect of Rutgers' woes remain to be seen
|Allegations involving defensive coordinator Dave Cohen, pictured, could be potentially troubling, but Rutgers' on-field performance could caution recruits more. (AP photo)|
By Tyler Barto
PISCATAWAY — At 3:29 p.m. Saturday, Rutgers defensive coordinator Dave Cohen quietly jogged off the field at High Point Solutions Stadium escorted by the team's director of athletic relations.
The first into the tunnel, Cohen made his way under the veil of cover.
In the immediate aftermath of NJ.com's story Friday in which former player Jevon Tyree alleged verbal abuse and bullying from Cohen, Rutgers will have to answer to a porous defense that allowed a season high in yards to Cincinnati.
But larger issues — unrelated to Cohen's alleged implication — loom, including the effect of a poor on-field product on Rutgers' recruiting efforts.
"As the head football coach, I worry about everything every day," head coach Kyle Flood said. "That's my job to do that. When I talk to recruits that are committed to us, we talk about what the future of Rutgers football is going to be, the championship program that we're building here and something that started nine years ago.
"I don't concern myself with that. I know we have a recruiting class now that is going to be a high-quality class. The ratings are the ratings. Players like Ray Rice, Devin and Jason McCourty, they weren't very highly rated players, so I don't know that ratings are always indicative of what the outcomes of recruiting classes will be. "
Three players decommitted from Rutgers' 2014 class within 24-hour span earlier in the week. Five have reneged on commitments in total, some for undisclosed reasons.
Flood said the recruits he has spoken with have been optimistic. Most are in the thick of high school playoff races, which began Friday night.
A timetable on potentially changed courses of action — players who would attempt to opt of commitments would likely have to take new visits — would be delayed into the offseason.