Virginia Beach (Va.) Cox three-star tackle Blake Camper is the latest commitment to Rutgers football…
Commitment Impact: OT Blake Camper
Committed Over: Blake Camper committed to Rutgers over Maryland, Wake Forest and Virginia. Rated: Camper is rated a three-star offensive tackle but is not ranked at his position in the 2015 class. On Film: At 6-foot-7, the Virginia Beach (Va.) Cox standout has the frame to be a left tackle in the Big Ten, and that is important as Rutgers will need to replace Keith Lumpkin perhaps as early as the 2015 season. He needs to add some size and strength to get above the 280 pounds he is at, but he is markedly further along than Lumpkin was heading into his senior season. Camper plays with a low pad level and shows good foot speed. He fires off the line of scrimmage well, and despite his size is able to win leverage battles. He has a good initial punch that will improve as he adds strength. He has good length and moves quickly, but his technique is sometimes lacking, especially in the passing game. In looking at his junior tape (below), first let's look at pass protection since that will be his forte heading to Rutgers. At the 55-second mark, Camper does a good job of sinking his hips, widening his base, using his length and remaining patient and balanced. The rush is straight at him, and Camper eats his defender up. However, at the 1:10 mark, he makes the block, but only because of his length and athleticism. His kick-step is lacking, and he scrambles with his footwork technique to cover the rusher on the edge. Against BCS competition, it won't end well when he does this. At the 1:30 mark, Camper does a good job of showing his explosion. He fires off the line of scrimmage and remains low. He wins the pad level battle, and thus makes the block needed. Finally, at the 3:20 mark, Camper gets off the ball quickly and jolts the defensive player back. Because of his ability to fire off the ball and the initial contact, the defender is out of the play before he ever gets in it. Recruiting Impact: Camper was the first projected offensive tackle to commit to the class, and was joined quickly by Philadelphia Roman Catholic's Manny Taylor. He joins offensive linemen Johan Jackson of Media (Pa.) Penncrest and Zach Venesky of Archbald (Pa.) Valley View, but they are both projected as offensive guards. However, although Brooklyn Grant Street's Kamaal Seymour was recruited as a defensive tackle, a move to the offensive line is possible after he spends some time in the program. The Scarlet Knights could take one more offensive tackle in the class, but it is not mandatory at this point. Another thing to keep an eye on is Trinity Pawling (N.Y.) School's Austrian Robinson is being recruited as a defensive lineman, but Scout.com projects him as an offensive tackle in college. Rutgers doesn't spend much time recruiting Virginia Beach, and don't look for this to open things up for the Scarlet Knights much in that area. Camper has family in New Jersey, and he had a special connection to the state, and that greatly aided Rutgers in his decision. Quotable: "Academics are so strong. You look around campus and you'll see one big word. It's family. It's the Big Ten. It can't get any better than that." Final Thought: Camper is not the all-out star some other prospects seem to be, but his combination of size and length, and his ability to add 30 pounds to his frame, it makes sense for Rutgers to take him. Don't expect him to play in 2015, but he should be ready for a backup role in 2016 and then have three seasons ahead of him, if it works out as planned.
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