Egg Harbor's Wiafe ready for Rutgers

Posted: February 06, 2014

Eric Wiafe will have a better idea than most recruits of what it's like to face Division I competition as he begins his football career at Rutgers.

That is because the 2013 Egg Harbor Township graduate spent the fall attending Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y.

The prep school has been an assembly line for Division I recruits, and Bill Chaplick has coached such players as Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, Denver Broncos and former Temple defensive lineman Terrance Knighton, and former Winslow Township running back Shonn Greene, now a member of the Tennessee Titans.

"Some of the guys [at Milford Academy] were bigger than the guys here," said Wiafe, referring to his new teammates at Rutgers. "Those guys are huge, and it helped me a lot."

Wiafe fits in with those huge players. He stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 265 pounds. A former tight end and defensive lineman in high school, Wiafe was recruited to play defense and could be used at end or tackle. For a 9-3 Milford Academy team, he had 28 tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, and a defensive touchdown.

"He is very athletic, has long arms, and is a good pass rusher and a tough kid on the run," Chaplick said. "He did everything we asked him to do."

Chaplick says Rutgers will like Wiafe's skill and his attitude.

"He plays consistently, plays hard and works hard, and keeps his mouth shut," Chaplick said. "He is a kid who doesn't miss class, a meeting, or practice, and he was a pleasure to coach."

For defensive line play, Wiafe said prep school helped him use his hands much better while shedding blocks.

"I didn't use my hands in high school, because guys were a little bit smaller and I could just run by guys," he said. "In prep school, I learned to use my hands better, and it has helped me, especially when rushing the passer."

Wiafe said that he benefited from attending prep school both academically and on the football field, but he's glad to finally be at Rutgers.

He originally committed to Rutgers at the end of his junior year at Egg Harbor Township. Wiafe has enrolled at Rutgers for the current semester and will participate in spring practice.

He is excited to be part of a Rutgers program that will be joining the Big Ten on July 1.

"The Big Ten is a great conference," Wiafe said. "I will be happy to compete in that."

Even though Wiafe said a few schools contacted him after he made his oral commitment, he never wavered from Rutgers.

"It feels good to finally be here," he said. "When I visited Rutgers, it felt like home, and it's a great place to be."


Rutgers Class of 2014

PLAYER    POS.    HT   WT    SCHOOL (State)

*Marcus Applefield   OT   6-6   286   Weeki Wachee (Fla.)

Donald Bedell   DE   6-4   235   Rumson (N.J.)

George Behr   TE   6-5   230   East Ridge (Minn.)

Sam Blue    LB   6-2   230   Millbrook (N.C.)

Andre Boggs   RB   5-11   170   Coatesville (Pa.)

Tariq Cole   OL   6-6 350   Long Beach (N.Y.)

Darian Dailey   CB   5-11   175   Manatee (Fla.)

Sidney Gopre   LB   6-1   200   Weequahic (N.J.)

Saquan Hampton   CB   6-0   180   Hamilton North (N.J.)

Zack Heeman   OT   6-7   270   Mount Olive (N.J.)

Joshua Hicks   RB   5-10   205   Palmetto (Fla.)

Jimmy Hogan   DL   6-4   225   Ramapo (N.J.)

Jacob Kraut   LB   5-11   250   Fletcher (Fla.)

*Logan Lister   TE   6-5   245   Katy (Texas)

*Kam Lott   CB   5-10   185   First Coast (Fla.)

Alan Lucy   OL   6-0   230   Dinwiddie County (Va.)

Robert Martin   RB   6-0   200   Harrisburgh (Pa.)

Justin Nelson   DE   6-1   240   DePaul (N.J.)

**Philip Nelson   QB   6-2   215   University of Minnesota

Giovanni Rescigno   QB   6-3   240   De La Salle (Mich.)

*Brandon Russell   LB   6-1   215   University (Fla.)

Jacquis Webb   OL   6-5   310   Gates Chili (N.Y.)

Isaiah Wharton   CB   6-1   200   Gateway (Fla.)

*Eric Wiafe   DL   6-5   265   Egg Harbor Twp (N.J.)

            Milford Academy (N.Y.)

Kevin Wilkins   OL   6-3   290   St. Joe Montvale (N.J.)

*recruits already enrolled at Rutgers


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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