Rutgers Teamed Up With Urban Meyer And Is Holding A Satellite Camp In New Jersey The Same Day As Jim Harbaugh
CentralJersey- On the same day Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is scheduled to host a satellite football camp at Paramus Catholic High School, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and Temple coach Matt Rhule will join Rutgers coach Chris Ash for a satellite camp of their own on Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham Park campus. Both camps are slated for June 8, the day before Harbaugh is scheduled to deliver a commencement speech at Paramus Catholic.
“I think Coach Ash has made it abundantly clear that he wants to ‘Fence the Garden,’ which is one of his mantras, and certainly when someone comes into our state and tries to run a satellite camp, you want to make that type of situation available to our own athletes,” MyCentralJersey.com football analyst Marcus Borden, an NJSIAA and NJFCA Hall of Fame mentor said.
“I think it’s a very creative move by Coach Ash and his staff. What a great countermove by Rutgers.”
Michigan has emerged as the leading out-of-state option for New Jersey high school football recruits, a pipeline that was built under Ash’s predecessor Kyle Flood and one that the current Rutgers coach would like to shut down.
Bringing in Ohio State is a logical step given the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry and Ash's close friendship with Meyer. Ash spent the past two seasons as Ohio State's defensive coordinator and has adopted several Meyer-started ideas at Rutgers.
The best thing I can say about Chris Ash's decision to team up with Urban Meyer and hold an in-state satellite camp 30 miles away on the same day as Jim Harbaugh is that it doesn't feel like real life. Six months ago the sky way falling all over the Rutgers football program. Players were getting arrested by the half dozen. It's "Head Coach" was getting suspended for academic dishonesty. The actual product on the field was as embarrassing as we've seen since the days prior to the arrival of Greg Schiano. The team felt like it had maxed out on it's potential and was bound to end up a Big Ten bottom feeder for the foreseeable future. Walking out of that stadium after blowing a 20+ point lead to a crappy Maryland team in the last game of a non-bowl eligible season was as hopeless a feeling as I have had as a sports fan. This might be quite the statement considering Rutgers less-than-rich history, but it felt like a sharp decline to the rockiest of bottoms was all but imminent.
Well, they haven't played a single meaningful snap since that dreary, rainy afternoon, and Chris Ash already has Rutgers teaming up with one of the most prestigious programs in the nation in hopes of counterpunching a recruitment effort by another one of the most prestigious programs in the nation. I can't guarantee that Chris Ash ends up being a great Head Coach, but I feel comfortable saying he's done everything in his power - and more - to right a ship that seemed to be navigating it's way straight into an iceberg. You can ignore the new wave of high profile in-state recruits, the complete overhaul of the facilities, and the new look jerseys. Rutgers has pulled off such feats (to varying degrees) before. What Rutgers undoubtedly has not done, throughout their entire history, is have their name mentioned in accord with championship track records.
Rutgers football is working in conjunction with Urban Meyer. They are proactively challenging the popularity of Jim Harbaugh. Fishing from the same pool of players as programs with some of the richest traditions in college football. Read the beginning of this paragraph out loud. Shit doesn't even sound remotely logical given the state of Rutgers football this past December. Chris Ash hasn't coached a single game so it remains to be seen what he is capable of on the sidelines, but he's completely flipped the trajectory of the program and that's far more than I expected him to accomplish in such a short amount of time. Ohio State doesn't have room for all the talent, and having the vote of confidence from one of the best coaches in the country can only pay dividends. Especially when it sends a message to the competition that Chris Ash's sights are set on his own state and his expectations are set so far beyond anything Rutgers fans could have even dreamed of at the end of last season.