July 18, 2018 | ° F

Four-star recruit flips from Rutgers to Penn State

The first cut is the deepest, but for the Rutgers football team, the 11th recruit to decommit might hurt them worst of all.

Unanimous four-star wide-receiver recruit Saeed Blacknall out of Manalapan (N.J.) High School, chose to attend Penn State, breaking his verbal commitment to be a Scarlet Knight, Sunday night via his twitter account.

“I have officially committed to THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY #WeARE,” Blacknall tweeted.

The rich only get richer in the case for Nittany Lions, who added Blacknall, along with two other recruits, to their list of 23 verbal commitments.

The Knights only become poorer, as Blacknall was their last recruit of four stars or more.

The recent skid of recruiting losses stems from a few issues with Rutgers entering the offseason.

The Knights still lack two coordinators after firing defensive coordinator Dave Cohen after their last game and losing offensive coordinator Ron Prince to the Detroit Lions two weeks ago.

Along with the lack of coordinators, the lack of a sure-fire quarterback discouraged Blacknall, according to Manalapan coach Ed Gurrieri. Senior-to-be Gary Nova lost his starting job last year, and Chas Dodd is set to graduate.

“They lost their offensive coordinator, and they’re not sure who the QB is,’’ Gurrieri told MyCentralJersey.com. “In the end, he felt more comfortable with Penn State.”

The prospects for keeping Blacknall seemed to be renewed after he spent time on his official visit Jan. 24 with recent quarterback commit Giovanni Rescigno.

“We were just saying how we were excited to be up there, and we really enjoyed our time together,” Rescigno told NJ.com. “I’m definitely looking forward to playing with him.”

By Tyler Karalewich

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