National signing day has come and gone, which means we can begin to fully evaluate the recruiting haul each team collected. This week on the Big Ten blog, we're looking at which new player has the potential to make an instant impact for each conference team in 2017.
Up next: Rutgers
Player: QB Johnathan Lewis
There's no nice way to put this: The Scarlet Knights stunk at quarterback last year. Just look at Rutgers' passing stats from this game. Or this one. Or this one. You get the point. It was almost historically bad.
That's why Lewis has a chance to make an impact from Day 1, even though it's unusual for true freshmen to start at quarterback in the Big Ten.
He won't arrive on campus until this summer, so veteran players such as Giovanni Rescigno, Zach Allen and Tylin Odin will have a big upper hand in experience and a headstart to learn new offensive coordinator Jerry Kill's system. Then again, all three guys had a chance to make an impact last year, and it didn't go so well.
The 6-foot-4, 228-pound Lewis is a dual threat who ran a similar offense in high school and looks like a perfect fit for what Rutgers coach Chris Ash wants to do. The Jersey City native was an important recruit for Rutgers, and even though Ash isn't guaranteeing him immediate playing time, the path certainly exists.
"I don't care what level of football you're a part of -- whether it's the NFL, college, high school -- if you don't have a quarterback, you really don't have a chance," Ash said on national signing day. "And to be able to get a quarterback with the characteristics Johnathan Lewis has means everything to us."