Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rutgers nets 5 recruits

The Rutgers football program welcomed the first five members of its 2011 recruiting class Tuesday as Johnathan Aiken (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Anthony DiPaula (Manalapan, N.J.), Dallas Hendrikson (St. Ansgar, Iowa), Kenneth Kirksey (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and Djwany Mera (Hollywood, Fla.) have enrolled at Rutgers. The five student-athletes begin classes today and will participate in spring practice for the Scarlet Knights in March.

2011 Rutgers Football Recruiting Class

Player                    Pos.  Ht.    Wt.     Hometown/High School (Previous School)        High School Coach

Johnathan Aiken   DB    5-11  185    Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Chaminade                        Tim Tyrell
Anthony DiPaula    P       6-1    215    Manalapan, N.J./St. John Vianney                      Skip Edwards
Dallas Hendrikson C       6-2    295    St. Ansgar, Iowa/St. Ansgar (Iowa Western CC) Drew Clevenger      
Kenneth Kirksey    DL     6-1    280    Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland (Fork Union)        John Maronto
Djwany Mera         DE     6-4    255    Hollywood, Fla./South Broward (Hargrave)                  Allen Held

Johnathan Aiken
Defensive Back • 5-11 • 185
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. • Chaminade

Defensive back who only played one year of high school football in 2009 at Chaminade for head coach Tim Tyrell … helped guide team to a 12-1 record as junior … named First Team All-Broward County by the Miami Herald … totaled 95 tackles and blocked six kicks … three-star rated recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com, and ESPN Scouts, Inc. … rated the No. 59 cornerback prospect nationally by Rivals.com … No. 51 safety recruit in the nation by ESPN Scouts, Inc. … listed as the No. 64 cornerback by Scout.com … Florida Class 2B first team all-state selection by the Florida Sports Writers Association in 2009.

Anthony DiPaula
Punter • 6-1 • 215
Manalapan, N.J. • St. John Vianney High School

Three-year letterwinner and two-year starter for head coach Skip Edwards at St. John Vianney High School … led the Shore Conference with 10 field goals, with a long of 46 yards … averaged 43.4 yards per punt, which also led the conference … scored 52 points as a senior, the most by any kicker in the conference … connected on 70 extra points over his career … only two of his 34 kickoffs were returned … Asbury Park Press All-Shore Second Team selection … finished his senior season 10-of-12 on field goal attempts … All Shore Media All-Conference First Team honoree at punter.

Dallas Hendrikson
Center • 6-2 • 295
St. Ansgar, Iowa • St. Ansgar High School • Iowa Western CC

Two-year starter at center for head coach Scott Strohmeier at Iowa Western Community College … two-time All-Midwest Football Conference First Team selection … helped guide Iowa Western to the Midwest Football Conference Championship in only the program’s second year in 2010 … team finished the season 9-2, including a 9-0 mark in the regular season and climbed as high as No. 2 in the National Junior College Athletic Association national rankings … team concluded the 2010 campaign ranked No. 11 in the NJCAA national rankings … played at St. Ansgar High School for head coach Drew Clevenger … was a three-time Class 1A all-state selection for the Saints at tackle in high school … all-around athlete who also placed eighth in the state championship in the shot put during his senior year of high school … excellent prep wrestler who ended his senior season third in the state with a 41-3 record at the 285-pound class.

Kenneth Kirksey
Defensive Line • 6-1 • 280
Daytona Beach, Fla. • Mainland High School • Fork Union Military Academy

Defensive lineman who just finished fall semester at Fork Union Military Academy for head coach John Shuman … Fork Union finished the season 6-3 … rated the No. 19 prospect nationally on the prep school level by Rivals.com .. played on the high school level for head coach John Maronto at Mainland High School … two-time Daytona Beach News-Journal First Team All-Area selection on defense … guided the Buccaneers to a 9-3 record and the 2009 FHSAA Class 6A Football Championship regional finals … monster senior season with 106 tackles and eight sacks … rated the No. 12 prospect in Central Florida by the Orlando Sentinel … No. 63 defensive tackle in the nation according to ESPN’s Scouts, Inc. … key cog in Mainland’s 11-1 record as a junior … First Team All-Area selection on defense by the Orlando Sentinel … finished junior season with 81 tackles, including 20 for loss … credited with eight sacks as well during junior campaign … Florida Sports Writers Association Third Team All-State selection on defense in 2008.

Djwany Mera
Defensive End • 6-4 • 255
Hollywood, Fla. • South Broward High School • Hargrave Military Academy

Defensive end prospect who completed one season at Hargrave Military Academy for head coach Troy Davis …. four-star recruit by Rivals.com and the No. 9 prep school prospect in the country … three-year varsity letterwinner and three-year starter for head coach Allen Held at South Broward High School … played on the defensive line and offensive line as well as tight end his senior season in 2009 … Second Team All-Broward County selection by the Miami Herald as a senior … 103 tackles, 38 tackles for loss and a school-record 21 sacks in 2009 … named team captain and defensive MVP … totaled 16 sacks earning second team all-county honors as a junior …  also lettered two years in wrestling and was 38-2 at the 215-pound weight class during his senior season … compiled a 36-6 record at 189 pounds his junior season.

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