Kyle Monangai's tenure at Rutgers has resulted in a 180 percent increase. He now wants to run a breakout season

Kyle Monangai's tenure at Rutgers has resulted in a 180 percent increase. He now wants to run a brea ...

Rutgers rushed to land a highly successful, yet under-recruited high school player in its own backyard durant two weeks of influx leading up to National Signing Day.

It's time for that player to make an offer for Rutgers.

After, Kyle Monangai, one of the targets for in the early winter of 2019, has emerged as a leader for a Rutgers backfield looking for its top option, following the departure of, its leading rusher the past three seasons.

Following his 12th spring practice, Kyle has had a great spring so far.

"He kind of sets the tone for the group with how you make every single day. There's a level of consistency from him that's fun to watch. It's resonating throughout the whole group with how he's responding positively."

This spring, a running back might be one of the deepest position groups for the Scarlet Knights. Aurich said the group as a whole is a group with one objective improvement.

"It's a unique group of individuals who consistently work extremely hard," Aurich said. "They're constantly looking to get out here and improve, across the board, the whole team."

Along with Monangai's long-running and steady drive, the Scarlet Knights return a versatile piece in junior Aaron Young, Jamier Wright-Collins, Parker Day, Nyjon Freeman, and Al-Shadee Salaam. Five of the six running backs hail from the Garden State, and three of the four Wright-Collins (Paterson Kennedy), Freeman, and Salaam (East Orange)

Monangai has added additional opportunities with Young that he has been sidelined this spring. It's been his intention to draw his position group together and to use his experience to assist his teammates.

We use the spring to be a source of growth and development, Monangai said. Were using it to work on the playbook, run scheme, pass protection, and the little things. Its about bringing everyone together.

Monangai's versatility and downhill style allowed him some early playing time last season. In his first significant season, the 5-9, 205-pound tailback received 62 times for 235 yards and four touchdowns, including a season-high 77 yards on 15 touches.

Kyle Monangai, a footballer for Don Bosco High School in Ramsey, signs his intention letter on Wednesday morning. 12/18/2019Steve Hockstein | For NJ Advance Media

Dan Sabella, an assistant coach at Don Bosco, has credit the "Jersey guys" for making sure one of New Jersey's top running back didn't slip through the cracks.

According to Sabella, high school football players who are under-recruited were asked if Monangai was capable and proficient enough to play Power Five football. Monangai had one offer from Cal going into his senior year and interest from Ivy League schools following an All-State season.

It was a while before I was reaching out to people, and they passed on him, Sabella said. I guarantee they do it now.

Monangai was the second option for the Rutgers' staff under Chris Ash, as well as the Ramsey school had two 1,000-yard rushers, one of the nation's top prospects, Jalen Berger. Ash's staff never offered Monangai.

Rutgers saw its possibility to change its prospects in the weeks leading up to the first-ever early signing period. On December 1, Greg Schiano's appointment, Nunzio Campanile, Ash's sole takeover, helped Schiano take his early look at one of his three former schools in Bergen County.

Monangai had a house at Rutgers and a scholarship offer. He was born 17 days later. When Rutgers came back into the picture, the new staff was not deterred by Monangai's size.

At the end of the day, it just came back to the kid is a great football player, Sabella said.

Both of Sabella's running backs might be featured in the Big Ten this fall. Following a move from Wisconsin, Berger has and may be the successor apparent to Kenneth Walker III, the last year's winner of the Doak Walker Award (as the nation's best running back) and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.

When Rutgers travels to East Lansing on November 12, the two former Don Bosco tailbacks will meet. As to how his tailback in red might be fair, Sabella said he'll "continue to improve and improve."

Sabella said that "he has the winner's personality." "He believes in himself. He's going to assist the Rutgers in their football matches."

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Patrick Lanni may be reached at.

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