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Steve Longa Named Sporting News Freshman All-American

Steve Longa
Steve Longa leads Rutgers defensively with 111 tackles in 2013.
Ben Solomon

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (December 8, 2013) – Rutgers redshirt freshman linebacker Steve Longa (Saddle Brook, N.J.) has been named to the Sporting News Freshman All-America first team, it was announced today. Longa is the first Rutgers player to earn Sporting News Freshman All-America first team honors since current San Francisco 49ers RT Anthony Davis in 2007.
Longa leads Rutgers defensively with 111 tackles in 2013. He is the first RU freshman with 100-plus tackles in a season since Courtney Greene earned Freshman All-America honors in 2005. The last Rutgers middle linebacker to total 100 tackles in a season prior to Longa was former NFL standout Gary Brackett in 2002 with 130.
The Saddle Brook native has been one of the key factors in Rutgers’ stout run defense, which is currently ranked No. 4 nationally. He leads all freshmen nationally in total tackles and tackles per game.
Longa and the Scarlet Knights close out the 2013 season Saturday, December 28 at the New Era Pinstripe Bowl versus Notre Dame. Kickoff is set for noon on ESPN.
Rutgers’ Sporting News Freshman All-America Selections
2013      Steve Longa            First Team (LB)
2007      Joe Lefeged            Honorable Mention (DB)
2007      Anthony Davis         First Team (OL)
2005      Courtney Greene  First Team (DB)
2004      Jeremy Ito               First Team (PK)
2001      Alfred Peterson      Third Team (DE)

Rutgers Football Lands Best Class Ever Despite Coaching Change

Rutgers University had a great National Signing Day this February 1st.  Fresh off the appointment of Kyle Flood as the head coach, some of the best players in the State of Rutgers sent in their signed letters of intent to play football for the Scarlet Knights.  At first glance the shining stars of this class look to be the teammates from USA Today national champion Don Bosco Prep; Darius Hamilton and Leonte Carroo.  Hamilton, son of former NFL star Keith Hamilton, is a 5 star defensive end prospect who had offers from every big name school in the country.  Carroo is a standout wide receiver with another long list of offers.  Both decided to stay home and continue to build something special in NJ.  Both were also US Army All-Americans, and will be incredible representatives of the program and the university.

However, the most impressive additions to me are the offensive line prospects we’re getting.  Given that has been a struggling unit over the past few seasons (though improved in 2011) it is great to see some big time road graders come to The Banks.  Chris Muller (another US Army All-American), Ryan Brodie, J.J. Denman, Brandon Arcidiacono, Derrick Nelson, and Maryland transfer R.J. Dill are going to lead the way to championships for Rutgers in the very, very near future.  The old saying is that it starts up front, and if that’s the case then we’re setup very nicely.  Coach Flood’s enthusiasm was barely containable when speaking about the O line recruits during his NSD press conference.  I love seeing the passion he has for the job!

All of the recruits this year are outstanding;

Ruhann Peele is the do-everything-with-the-ball stud from Linden High School. 

Desmon Peoples, Brandon’s teammate from Pennsylvania state champ Archbishop Wood is another skill guy who has no trouble finding the endzone.

Carlton Agudosi is a 6’6” wide receiver from Somerset. I can’t wait to see what a defense is going to do with him, 6’6” Brandon Coleman, and 6’4” Mark Harrison lined up. Oh and we’ll throw world class speedster Miles Shuler in the mix too.  Someone’s scoring boys!

The potential bookend for Hamilton is Julian Pinnix-Odrick, a defensive end from Montclair.  I predict JPO and Hamilton to be showing up in opposing QBs nightmares for a few seasons to come.

Quanzell Lambert is a big, thumping mike backer that is going to terrorize running backs.  Besides, in an age of lazy nicknames (initials aren’t a nickname, people!), how can you not love a kid called QUANZILLA?!?

I’m not going to list all of the recruits, and that should not be taken as a sign of disrespect. As a Rutgers fan I’m proud of all of these young men, and can’t wait to see them kicking ass and hoisting trophies on The Banks!  They are part of a class that every major recruiting service in the country ranks in the top 25 in the nation.  Football season cannot come soon enough!!