Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military safety Zaire Kitchen became the first commitment for Rutgers in 2006. What stuck out about the Scarlet Knights to the 6-foot-0, 193-pounder?
"When I found out I would have to go to prep school Rutgers was the only school to stay in touch with me," he said. "They are also really convenient for me and my family and I think they're going to win some games. They also have a great team atmosphere and they are a great school academic wise. All their facilities are brand new."
"The coaches were just happy to talk to me and I talked to coach Schiano about it. They really thought I should come and they were very excited."
With the decision behind him, how does Kitchen feel now that it is over with?
"I just wanted to get it out of the way. I know I'm going to Hargrave this year, but it's not as much of a stress on me now," he said. "Now I know where I'm going and I'm a lot more comfortable knowing that."
Kitchen is a native of New Jersey having played for Highstown High School. Next season Kitchen will be focusing more on his education when he attends Hargrave in the fall.
"I'm focusing on the classes I need and then football comes second," he said. "I just want to get smarter at my position and I want to be able to focus on being a safety. I want to work on my technique and be able to do certain things and get faster, stronger and quicker."
According to Kitchen the future is bright with the Scarlet Knights.
"I think their future is good and I think they've always been a good team, they just need to find a way to win and I think they're going to win," he said. "That's why they're an up-and-coming team."
Next season while watching them on television, Kitchen will be paying particular attention to the safeties.
"I love watching college football and I'll be keeping a close eye on my position. I want to see how the defense is run too."
Kitchen hopes to attend a game this fall at Rutgers, but that may be difficult as he'll be prepping at Hargrave this fall and then enroll at Rutgers in January 2006.