4-star cornerback Patrice Rene commits to Rutgers football
Posted on Aug 08, 2015
Four-star Episcopal (Alexandria, Va.) cornerback Patrice Rene, has committed to Rutgers over Ohio State, becoming the nineteenth member, and third defensive back, to join Rutgers' recruiting class of 2016.
"The thing about Rutgers is they've been recruiting me since the get go," Rene told NJ.com, Friday. "They were like my third offer. And I've had the opportunity to build a really solid relationship with all the coaches and kind of get to know them a lot. So I really felt at home with them.
"And also, it's just a family atmosphere that they have there. And I have a lot of family in that area, New York. My grandmother lives less than an hour away from Rutgers, so that had a lot to do with it, as well. And I'm just excited about what they're doing, being in the Big Ten. What coach Flood is doing, I think he's on the right path and they're on to bigger and better things. I definitely was excited to be a part of that and wanted to help them achieve their goals."
Altogether, the 6-2, 190-pounder held upwards of 25 offers from North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Duke, Kentucky and others. But Rutgers' academic reputation helped seal the deal for the Scarlet Knights.
"Having an education from Rutgers really means a lot. It's something that my parents could be proud of. And me, myself, I'll be extremely proud to be able to say I graduated from Rutgers University with a really good degree," said Rene. "So all those factors, that's kind of what it came down to."
Rene believes he's versatile enough to play multiple roles within the defensive backfield, and is willing to be utilized as a swiss army knife of sorts.
"They're kind of looking at me right now as a corner. But they think down the road, maybe I'll end up playing as a safety being my size and everything," said Rene. "But whatever I can help the team with. They wanna also maybe use me as a nickel. I feel comfortable at either position on the defense. I think I'm versatile enough to do that. And I just want to get on the field early and help my team as soon as possible. So wherever they think I fit best, that's where I'll be."
Rene initially committed to Rutgers over two weeks ago, prior to his most recent visit to Ohio State for Friday Night Lights. But with the Rutgers staff aware of his Buckeye interest and the fact that he was scheduled to visit the school, Rene was prompted to hold off on making it official until after that visit.
But once he returned from Columbus, following a standout camp performance, and despite the efforts of the Ohio State staff to flip him, Rene revealed to Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood that he was still Rutgers bound.
"I just basically called him and told him that Rutgers was the place I wanted to go. And he was ecstatic. He was really excited and couldn't believe it at first," said Rene. "He was just excited for me to make it official and couldn't wait.
"He knows what I can do and he's been recruiting me hard," Rene continued. "And, kind of, to have a guy like me, I guess, he kind of told me that he was really happy about it. And we definitely talk. I talk to him almost every day now. And they just can't wait for me to get on campus and start working."