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Rutgers football lands three commitments on Saturday



On the second big recruiting weekend of June with many official visitors, Rutgers football landed three commitments in the 2024 class on Saturday. They all came on the defensive side of the ball. The first to announce was 3-star defensive tackle Aaris Bethea from Brooklyn, New York. Soon after, Safety Dah’Kari Gilley from Jacksonville, Florida announced his commitment. 3-star linebacker Montele Johnson from West Bloomfield, Michigan capped the day with his pledge.

Bethea has long been pursued by Rutgers and is the latest recruiting win for defensive line coach Marquise Watson. The 6’2″, 250 pounder also continues the pipeline from Erasmus Hall to Piscataway. He played with current RU linebacker Moses Walker and is poised to be reunited. He holds offers from Nebraska, Maryland, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Syracuse, Pitt, Virginia Tech and West Virginia among others. It’s a big victory for Rutgers as Bethea can attack the gaps inside and could be a disruptive force for the defense in the future. He joins twins Tycoolhill and Tyclean Luman, who committed last weekend, on the defensive line in the 2024 class.

Gilley was just upgraded to a 3-star and has good size at 6’3″ and 190 pounds. He’s a physical player who could play at safety or linebacker down the road. He holds offers from Pitt, Georgia Tech, UCF, Florida Atlantic, Navy and Liberty but committed to RU on his official visit. Gilley could become another underrated recruit that develops into a steal for Rutgers.

Johnson is a physical 6’2″, 220 pound linebacker who was a stat machine in his junior season. He registered 102 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and five quarterback hurries. He was a sought after recruit ranked a top 20 prospect in Michigan. Johnson holds offers from Kentucky, Louisville, West Virginia, Boston College, Kansas, Missouri and several MAC schools among others. He had official visits set up for later this month at Kansas and Boston College but has cancelled once committing to Rutgers. Johnson joins 3-star Sam Pilof as the two linebackers in the current recruiting class.

Rutgers is hosting 16 official visitors this weekend. With three commitments already in hand, more could still come. The 2024 recruiting class as of now is ranked No. 21 nationally and No. 7 in the Big Ten in the 247 Sports composite rankings. Head coach Greg Schiano have put together a solid class so far but will look to close strong in the coming months. A few 4-star commits are needed to finish in the top 25. They’ve had many highly touted recruits on official visits the past two weekends so stay tuned.

Watch highlights for all three commitments below.

Aaris Bethea

Dah’Kari Gilley


Montele Johnson


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  1. BataliBoli98

    June 11, 2023 at 11:18 am

    Aaron, it seems like the overwhelming majority of the 3 star recruits in the 2024 class are being offered by other Power 5 programs and therefore, on paper at least, are more enticing. Do you agree? In the past I felt like so many of RU’s 3 star recruits were offered by only one P5 school and that was RU. Also, I’ve been saying for a while that getting some guys for the interior D Line was integral so I’m excited for Bethea. He’ll just need to put on some weight in order to compete in the B1G. Go RU!

  2. RUinChiTown

    June 11, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    Very happy to see all three commit. Perhaps more today or, later this week?

    I will add that I am, so far, disappointed that a couple of the four * recruits RU is pursuing have not picked us. Hopefully that changes soon.

  3. pj43

    June 11, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    You watch the highlight tapes on these 3 defensive commits (as well as prior defensive ’24 commits) and you understand the references to “physical”, “quick first step”, “high motor”, “Big Ten size”. That’s the common theme I’m seeing in the defensive recruit tapes. I just love the obvious emphasis on building depth on both the DL & OL. With Bethea, you get quickness on the snap of the ball and a real “thumper”, as described elsewhere. Can he put on 30-35lbs and retain those qualities? I’m reading good things about the strength & conditioning coach so I think the chances are good. Looking at the ’22, ’23 & this ’24 class, I have to be optimistic that the younger talent is there to upgrade the competitiveness of the program in Big Ten play. I’m also getting more confident that the coaching staff Schiano has assembled can develop & maximize the potential of these younger players. I look forward to more quality commits in the coming weeks to close out this promising ’24 class.

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