By Chris Iseman
In the nearly five months Greg Schiano has been back at Rutgers, he and his coaching staff have piled up recruiting victories.
They've secured 11 commitments for the Class of 2021, seven of which have come from in-state talent.
But Schiano has also had success with the transfer portal, landing a handful of talented players who have potential to significantly impact the Scarlet Knights. Several of those transfers have come from other Big Ten schools. Here's a look at those new players:
Previous college: Boston College
High School: Pope John, Sparta, N.J.
Burke figures to provide a significant boost to the Scarlet Knights' defensive line, which needs to be bolstered. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound Burke played in nine games last season, recording six tackles.
The former Pope John star was rated three stars coming out of high school. A native of Jamaica, Queens, Burke is an athletic player and will add good size to the Scarlet Knights' defensive line.
He just felt that with the new staff and the new energy it was something he wanted to explore," said Brian Carlson, the head coach at Pope John. "I talked to him, he’s very happy there, he’s excited about it. I think he has a great future.
Previous college: Wisconsin
High School: Erasmus Hall, Brooklyn, N.Y.
The 5-foot-9, 155-pound Cruickshank will bring a lot of speed to the Scarlet Knights. He was strong on special teams for the Badgers his first two college seasons. Cruickshank played in 14 games for Wisconsin in 2019, scoring three touchdowns (two on kickoff returns and one rushing).
Cruickshank ran back a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Badgers' loss to Oregon in the Rose Bowl.
Cruickshank was a second-team All-Big Ten selection on special teams.
Once he's eligible to play, Cruickshank could be a weapon for Rutgers both on special teams and in Sean Gleeson's offense. If gets the ball in open space, Cruickshank is a force.
“Now he feels with Rutgers and Coach Schiano and (offensive coordinator) Coach (Sean) Gleeson, that he feels like a free bird," said Danny Landberg, the head coach at Erasmus Hall. "He feels like the system is perfect for him. ...I went to visit him. He looks like he’s been there for years, the way he’s taken to everybody and the comfort factor it seems."
Previous college: Michigan
High school: DePaul Catholic, Wayne, N.J.
It's a homecoming for Dwumfour.
The 6-foot-2, 282-pound Dwumfour was a highly touted recruit coming out of DePaul Catholic High School. He helped the Spartans in a pair of New Jersey state championships, recording 55 tackles and seven sacks his senior season.
Dwumfour, a native of Scotch Plains, was a three-star prospect coming out of high school with a list of offers that included Penn State, Rutgers, Army and Boston College.
He played in 33 games at Michigan, including four starts.
Dwumfour should help bolster the defensive line for coach Jim Panagos, adding decent size and valuable Big Ten experience.
Previous college: Ohio State
High school: Olentangy Liberty, Powell, Ohio
Adding White gives Rutgers a high-caliber defensive back with plenty of Big Ten experience who could give the Scarlet Knights' defense a significant lift.
White played in 10 games for the Buckeyes in 2019, including one start. He finished the season with 19 tackles, including two for a loss.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound White played in 14 games (five starts) as a sophomore and was the Rose Bowl Defensive Most Valuable Player after recording eight tackles and an interception in Ohio State's win over Washington.
White was rated four stars by 247sports.com coming out of high school. He was also ranked the third-best athlete nationally for the 2017 recruiting class.
Previous college: Minnesota
High School: Berkeley Prep, Tampa, Fla.
Ahanotu hasn't played many college games — just five in two seasons at Minnesota. He was a three-star prospect coming out of Berkeley Prep, where he got to know Schiano, who helped out the football program after getting fired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneeers.
Ahanotu, whose father Chidi played in the NFL for 12 seasons, has more Rutgers connections: He played for Panagos last season at Minnesota when Panagos was the Gophers' D-line coach, and Rutgers defensive coordinator Robb Smith recruited Ahanotu when he was Minnesota's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
Ahanotu would have to get a waiver from the NCAA to be eligible for the 2020 season.
The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Ahanotu has three years of eligibility remaining.
Previous college: Baylor
High school: Odessa Permian, Odessa, Texas
Powell entered the transfer portal before his freshman year at Baylor. He committed to Utah before flipping to Rutgers.
Powell was a dual-threat quarterback in high school, throwing for 1,514 yards and 15 touchdowns his senior season, while rushing for 460 yards and seven TDs. 247sports.com rated the 6-foot-2, 187-pound Powell a four-star recruit and the 14th-best athlete in the 2019 recruiting class according to its composite rankings.
Powell had a slew of offers from schools that included Ohio State, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU, among others.
Who recruited Powell to Baylor? Current Rutgers defensive backs coach Fran Brown, who was the Bears' defensive backs coach.
And who recruited Powell to Ohio State? Schiano, then the Buckeyes' defensive coordinator.
Now Powell will play for them both.
Previous college: Ohio State/UCF
High school: Tampa Catholic, Tampa, Fla./IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Rutgers will be Barrow's third college. He played four games for UCF last season after transferring from Ohio State, where he played for Schiano.
The 6-foot-3, 257-pound Barrow saw time in three games for the Buckeyes. He had three injury-plagued years at Ohio State, including a torn ACL in one knee after he had torn the ACL in the other knee his high school senior season.
Barrow had medically retired, but ultimately decided to transfer to UCF.
He will be eligible for 2020. It remains to be seen what kind of impact he can have for the Scarlet Knights.
Barrow was a four-star prospect coming out of high school.