Rutgers’ historic class grows: Greg Schiano flips D.J. McClary, All-American LB, from Penn State (2024)

The days when Penn State could poach any high school football recruit out of neighboring New Jersey who it wanted may be over and done with.


Rutgers just added the most sought-after commit to its 2025 recruiting class, which has been ranked as high as No. 5 in the country, and it wrestled the linebacker back from Penn State — dubbed Linebacker U.

Few players in the state can run and hit like Henry Snyder high standout D.J. McClary, a 6-foot-1, 210-pounder who plays outside linebacker, quarterback and running back, and boasts a national offer list. And, after flipping from Penn State to Rutgers on Sunday, McClary will “stay home.”

“Jersey, I’m staying home,“ McClary wrote in the caption of his commitment post on X (formerly twitter).

A Jersey City native and the brother of ex-Rutgers nose tackle Isaac Holmes, McClary officially visited Rutgers three weekends ago, where he was hosted by senior linebacker Tyreem Powell, by way of Vineland, N.J., and learned Rutgers has all he needs less than 30 minutes away from his home.

A heat-seeking missile who is just as (if not more) spectacular with the ball in his hands, McClary is a big addition for Rutgers and could serve as the face of this historic haul. Plus, stealing him from Penn State, which historically has had its way in New Jersey, is Greg Schiano’s proverbial cherry on top.

For months, Schiano and Joe Harasymiak, Rutgers’ defensive coordinator, built close bonds with McClary, who got to know Powell and Mo Toure, Rutgers’ defensive leaders and best players, during his trip to Rutgers, which spanned the weekend of May 31.

“I flipped on behalf of my comfort and the trust with the program,” McClary told NJ Advance Media on Sunday. “I love the culture and I want to be a part of something great incoming. So, I made my decision last night.”

A top-10 member of the Top 50, McClary’s options included Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Tennessee, USC, Virginia Tech, Duke, Boston College, Illinois, Minnesota, South Carolina, Syracuse and in-state Rutgers, but he settled on James Franklin and the Nittany Lions on Sept. 24 before flipping to Schiano and Rutgers on Sunday.

This, after officially visiting Penn State, where he has been committed for nine months, last weekend.

The N.J. Under Armour linebacker MVP and a U.S. Army All-American, McClary is a unanimous four-star recruit per 247Sports, Rivals, On3, and ESPN, where he ranks the nation’s No. 145 recruit. McClary was the third-ranked recruit in Penn State’s class, per 247Sports.

McClary is the whopping 14th of 21 official visitors from Rutgers’ first official visit weekend this month, to pick Rutgers, which has added future starters and depth better than any college football team over that span.

Heading into June, Rutgers’ 2025 football recruiting class ranking dabbled in the mid-50′s out of 134 FBS teams. The class soared as high as No. 5 nationally after adding a whopping 20 commitments following official visits this month — 14 from the first weekend (also headlined by N.J. four-stars Jae’lyne Matthews, an All-American offensive lineman who also flipped from Penn State to Rutgers, Michael Thomas III, a top-200 wide receiver, and speedy running back John Forster), prior to adding six of 22 visitors from the next two weekends.

Rutgers’ 2025 class now features 28 high school seniors, nine ranked four-stars, and entered Sunday ranked ninth nationally by

McClary has 321 tackles, 52.2 tackles for a loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two pick-sixes in three years at Snyder. More impressively, the senior has 4,173 rushing yards and 52 TDs on 359 carries, and 1,299 yards and nine TDs through the air, over that span.


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Todderick Hunt covers Sports and Culture and Recruiting. Have a story idea or a tip? He can be reached at

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Rutgers’ historic class grows: Greg Schiano flips D.J. McClary, All-American LB, from Penn State (2024)
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