2015 RU Soccer Commitments

RU23

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According to TopDrawerSoccer, we currently have 5 commitments for next year, all from NJ.

Forward Brian Hawkins from Notre Dame Prep was NJ.com's player of the year after scoring 35 goals and dishing out 11 assists while guiding his team to the Non-Public A Final. First team All-State as a junior and senior. Plays club soccer for the Washington United Lightning which also has kids committed to St. John's and St. Joe's. They are ranked #1 in NJ and #4 in the nation after winning the US Club Soccer National Cup back in July. I'll link his highlight video below...starts off slow but really picks up. Kid is a goal-scoring machine.

Defender Zachary Perez from Rutgers Prep is the most highly-rated player in the class - #4 in PA and #125 in the nation per Top Drawer. Couldn't play high school soccer because he plays Academy soccer for the Philadelphia Union. For the Union U-18 team he is one of only 7 players to start 10 games or more so far this year.

Defender Michael Fornaro from Steinert HS (Donigan's alma mater) was a four-year starter in high school and led Steinert soccer back to relevancy with a trip to the Central Jersey Group 3 Final this year. Played club soccer a year up for Medford Strikers SC.

Forward Thomas Dovell from Moorestown HS scored 9 goals and had 7 assists this year, and plays his club soccer for Philadelphia SC. His team is ranked #88 in the nation according to GotSoccer, and was previously top 50.

Goalkeeper Brian Shushkovsky from Freehold Township HS is a 4* and rated the #19 player in NJ per TopDrawerSoccer. Had 10 shutouts in his first 14 games for Freehold this year. Plays club soccer for Match Fit. He's going to be a big-time goalie for us.

Also defender Mitch Lurie will be available to play for us next year after sitting out this fall. Had previous stints at Portland and Louisville, so he will only have one year of eligibility for us.

Brian Hawkins Highlights
 

MamaRU

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I am not going to comment on any of the individual players that have committed as that would be unfair. I have not seen any of them play enough to make a judgement . To understand the possible impact of the new class, you have to know something about the new youth soccer climate. Right now, the best academy players are not allowed to play high school soccer. That takes the top 60-80 high school players out of the equation. For the purpose of evaluating the impact on college soccer, high school soccer is irrelevant. The top high school player in the state may very well be the 40 to 60th best player in the state.
As I have said before, Rutgers needs to get the best players from NY Redbull and PDA, those are the players that are going to the big soccer schools. Sa, Brucolleri, Hambleton, Tetro, and Tetro were all to ten NJ players. Tainter was a top ten in Mass. Sa, Tetro, Tetro, and Hambleton were all on the Youth US National team at one time. There is a huge disparity in the talent between the top academies and the rest of the youth soccer world. Look into this class and you will notice no players from NY Redbull and PDA. If Rutgers is not getting these types of players, they cannot be successful.
 

RU23

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Agree we need to make it a priority to land 1 or 2 kids from PDA and Red Bulls every year (and Match Fit always has a few good kids as well), as the training and competition those academies provide is at a completely different level than high school and most clubs. It's certainly disappointing not to have any of those players in this particular class, but I'd be willing to bet Perez, Hawkins, and Shushkovsky could all play for either of those two. Don't know as much about Fornaro and Dovell. Donigan has done a decent job recruiting those academies in the past, as Guzman, the two Tetro's, Brucolerri, Sa, Perez, and Hambleton all played for either PDA or Red Bulls. Guzman captained the U18 PDA team that won 2014's academy national championship and Sa captained the U18 Red Bulls team that won it the year before. Those are the types of kids we need to land with some consistency to compete in the B1G. Monmouth will always land a few PDA kids every year, and some top kids will always want to go big-name ACC soccer schools like Duke, Maryland, and Virginia, but there is more than enough talent in the area for RU to nab a few top kids every year and be competitive.