Rutgers Schiano pulls an ace, does he have another up his sleeve?

Brendon White,the Ohio State Buckeyes. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Brendon White,the Ohio State Buckeyes. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

New Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano made a big splash last week when he got former Ohio State linebacker/safety Brendon White to transfer in. Is another big splash coming?

It hasn’t taken long for Greg Schiano to make an impact in his brief (second) tenure heading up the Rutgers football program. He’s kept at least one player, quarterback Artur Sitkowski, from transferring out, while trying to keep dynamic running back Raheem Blackshear in the fold as well. Two players from the Ohio State defense he ran in 2017-18 have transferred in. But more surprises could be in store for the Scarlet Knights.

An ace in the hole

Schiano already upgraded the defense with the addition of Central Florida (and former Ohio State) defensive tackle Malik Barrow, during the early signing period. Last week, hybrid safety/linebacker Brendon White transferred to Rutgers from Ohio State. White was a key member of Schiano’s OSU defense when the Buckeyes went 12-1 in 2018. As a matter of fact, he was the Rose Bowl MVP recording eight tackles, two for loss.

When head coach Urban Meyer retired after the 2018 season, Schiano left the program as well. New coach Ryan Day and co-defensive coordinators Jeff Hafley and Greg Mattison employed a different scheme. White became the odd man out in 2019, playing only late in lopsided games.

He brings his talent and versatility to a Scarlet Knights defense that already has linebackers Tyshon Fogg, Drew Singleton, and Tyreek Maddox-Williams as well as some play-making defensive backs. The Knights won’t be the pushovers on D that they were the past few seasons.

An ace up the sleeve?

More from Empire Writes Back

Wanting to upgrade the offense as well as the defense, Schiano has pursued Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Sean Gleason for the same position at RU. Gleason’s 2019 offense averaged over 450 yards and 32 points per game.

That is a heck of a lot better than the 273 yards and 13.2 points RU had last season. Of course, he wouldn’t have the same level of talent right away, but Gleason could vastly improve a mostly stagnant offense almost immediately.

What makes Gleason an ideal candidate to run Rutgers offense, aside from what he did at OSU last year, is that he was the OC at Princeton the two previous seasons. Gleason knows New Jersey high school football well.

He and Schiano would make a great 1-2 recruiting punch. Whether or not he comes to Rutgers is a different story. Interviewed by The Oklahoman newspaper over the weekend, Gleason gave no clues as to what or where his coaching career is headed.

Next. Rutgers pulls a few gems from dismal early signing period. dark

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below or on social media.