Piscataway quarterback/cornerback Nadir Barnwell announced his much-anticipated college decision live on "A Quick :60" on MSG Varsity Optimum Ch. 14 earlier in the fall, revealing to the country he will play at Rutgers.
He made it official on Wednesday, signing with the Scarlet Knights and becoming one of many prospects from the Garden State to join coach Kyle Flood's program.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound four-year starter, who shrugged off an early season injury and led the Chiefs to a sectional championship game, chose Rutgers over Tennessee and Michigan.
"(Flood) was very happy; he welcomed me to the family," said Barnwell, who sported a black Scarlet Knights cap on set with host Mike Quick in September. "I can't wait to get there so I can be coached."
As spectacular as Barnwell has been during this run of success on both sides of the ball, it's what is not routinely seen on game day that truly distinguishes him from so many other stellar athletes.
"He has a burning desire to be the best, so he will continue to grow and get better," head coach Dan Higgins said. "It's in his makeup, part of his DNA. I've seen talented kids before, and I've seen talented kids who are the hardest working kids on the team. That's him. Those kinds of kids are worth their weight in gold."
College scouts around the nation have recognized Barnwell's considerable physical attributes for some time now. He's been clocked at 4.4 in the 40, possesses a rare combination of elusiveness and power and is extremely versatile.
"He's the complete package," Higgins said. "College coaches see the physicality in his play and his great athleticism, but what they really love is the leadership he shows on the offensive side. Even though he doesn't project as QB, some do see him as a split receiver; they see him as a playmaker."
Barnwell's team fell to Elizabeth, 37-33, in heart-breaking fashion in the North 2 Group 5 title game in December. However, Barnwell had already secured his legacy as one of this program's best of all time. He was a sterling talent out of the secondary and he also leaves as one of the school's most prolific QBs ever.
Contact Brian Fitzsimmons at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @FitzWriter