Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
We are looking for players who love the game. People who understand that playing college football is a commitment of time both mental and physical. We put a lot of effort into evaluating this and ask questions that are specific to their passion for the process of being the best they can be.
We look for athletic skill as it relates to specific positions. We want the players we recruit to show something special that sets them apart from the norm; be it a skill, speed, size or strength.
They must be honest and have the ability to be selfless in a world that is different. We like to recruit players who are multiple sport athletes. This enables them to continue to hone crossover skills and enhances their competitiveness. Ultimately we are looking for people who are: SELFLESS..ACCOUNTABLE..MENTALLY TOUGH.
Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
I had the privilege of working with Brian Leonard when I was working as an assistant at Rutgers. He was redshirted as a Freshman and came into his own as a Redshirt Freshman and Sophomore as a running back on a developing team. He was one of the premier backs in the Big East in 2003 and 2004. In 2005 he began to share time with a young back named Ray Rice.
Brian ultimately relinquished the RB role to Ray. The impressive thing he did was continue to work to be the very best he could be. He also took Ray “under his wing” and taught him how to do things the right way. He was critical in leading Rutgers to its first Bowl game in over 30 years.
Brian never dwelled on his carries or touches and wound up leading the team in his own way. He decided to come back as a senior risking his draft status. He helped lead the Rutgers team in 2006 to an 11-2 record, finishing with a Bowl victory over Kansas State.
He was drafted by the Rams and played there for two years prior to moving to Cincinnati where he plays now. He is the embodiment of being SELFLESS..ACCOUNTABLE..MENTALLY TOUGH.