After the Rutgers football program's win during the Pinstripe Bowl, Greg Schiano has set out loftier expectations for the squad. The Scarlet Knights are looking to contend in the Big Ten Conference. A key move that they have been going to in the past year has been notching top-end talents from high school. James Franklin and his Penn State football squad just so happen to be at the short end of the stick because Schiano's staff landed DJ McClary.

You heard that right! DJ McClary is headed back to his home state and will be seen playing for the Rutgers football program. The linebacker hails from Jersey State and will get to develop under Greg Schiano's care. This commitment to the team also meant that the Scarlet Knights have notched their fourth ESPN300 commitment. It sets them up for a school record too. They have never had more than three in their rotation throughout the program's history, per Pete Thamel of ESPN.

While the Rutgers football program is great, a big pull that Greg Schiano's squad had over teams like James Franklin's Penn State is family. DJ McClary lives and breathes jersey football which is possibly why he made this call. He was committed to the Nittany Lions as early as last September. A visit to the Scarlet Knights' facilities changed all of that. The proximity to his family took precedence. It is also not like this is his first time experiencing what Schiano's Rutgers football program has to offer.

Ike Holmes is McClary's brother and the young linebacker saw the way the team ran through his lens during his time with the Scarlet Knights. Moreover, the familiarity does not stop there.

He is also among nine players from within the state that has committed to play for Rutgers football. This means that he will know his teammates a lot more here because of previous in-state competitions rather than other Big Ten squads unlike James Franklin's Penn State football team. After all, chemistry is very important in college football. Familiarity and comfort in the program blazes that fire which leads to being in sync with teammates.

Rutgers football plans to shock the Big Ten conference

Piscataway, NJ -- April 27, 2024 -- Malcolm Ray with coach Greg Schiano on the sidelines during Rutgers annual spring football game at SHI Stadium.
© Chris Pedota, / USA TODAY NETWORK

It was not the best 2023 season for the Scarlet Knights, even the decade has not been kind to them. Since their transition into the Big Ten, they have not gotten a winning record within the conference. Last year's three-win and six-loss record was one of their best and it speaks volumes. In fact, they could not even get a win in the stacked Big Ten during the 2016, 2018, and 2019 seasons.

This shift in recruitment and flipping players for their 2025 class is great for the program. They will be getting better talents at each position who are ready to go out and execute Schiano's schemes. Rotation-wise, the squad will also be better. If these kids are as good leaders as they are players, they might even have a shot of winning the conference. For now, the goal is to notch a non-losing season for 2024 and 2025. If it all goes well, a College Football Playoff appearance could be in store for Schiano's Rutgers football program in the coming years.