Rutgers QB commit AJ Surace shined on Saturday night to lead Notre Dame to a 48-27 season opening victory against Wayne Valley. Surace ran for 216 yards and 3 touchdowns while also completing 15 of 16 passes for 163 yards and one score through the air. His lone incompletion was a first quarter interception.
All four scores by Surace were big plays. He had touchdown runs of 64 yards, 32 yards and 45 yards. His touchdown pass went for 39 yards.
Surace finished his junior season for Notre Dame completing 131 of 231 pass attempts (56.7%) for 1,731 yards along with 21 TDs and 6 INTs. In addition, Surace had 32 rushes for 189 yards, 5.9 yards per carry and three touchdowns last season.
The fact that Surace surpassed his previous season high total for rushing yards in the first game of his senior year is very intriguing. In his three year high school career prior to Saturday, including two as a full-time starter, Surace rushed for 361 yards on 4.5 yards per carry and 6 touchdowns.
His development as a true dual threat quarterback makes him even more valuable. On Surace’s first touchdown, he was looking to throw and made the decision to run after he couldn’t find any open teammates downfield. It was a sound decision but his ability to take advantage with his legs was eye opening.
AJ Surace with a 65 yard RUSHING touchdown to open up the scoring against Wayne Valley. The kid can moveeeeee pic.twitter.com/TbN4yDLcI7
— KYK1827 (@kyk1827) August 26, 2023
He also ran for a score on a RPO play call, something Rutgers offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca will look to utilize with Surace in the future.
4th and 2, 5 minutes to go with his team up 26-20, AJ Surace calls his own number and blows by the defense for a 32 yard rushing TD to seal the deal. Notre Dame now up 34-20. I think hes like 25/29 in the air too. This kid is the real deal pic.twitter.com/A8oGv6ix0k
— KYK1827 (@kyk1827) August 27, 2023
Surace is currently ranked No. 13 recruit in New Jersey, No. 42 QB nationally and No. 718 prospects overall in the 2024 class per 247 Sports composite rankings.
The future Scarlet Knight being able to make big plays with his legs is a step forward in his development. The Notre Dame backfield will be even more stacked for their third game of the season. That’s when Rutgers commit Gabe Winowich will be eligible after having to sit out of the first two games due to New Jersey high school transfer rules. Winowich is rated a high 3-star in the composite rankings and is an explosive player in his own right.
On Saturday, it was clear that he best prospect on the field. If his season opening performance was any indicator, Surace is ready to have a monster fall for Notre Dame. Whether the recruiting experts raise his 0.8756 recruit remains to be seen. Regardless, Rutgers fans have plenty to be excited about in the near future with AJ Surace.
🚨 AJ runs wild on the Indians‼️
More from this game coming to JSZ pic.twitter.com/PgqXGaCHBB
— Jersey Sports Zone (@JSZ_Sports) August 27, 2023
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