NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers football’s 2016 recruiting class has added one of the top kickers in the country, as Alex Barbir announced that he has committed to Rutgers on Friday.
Barbir, who attends South Forsyth High School in Cumming, GA, made his announcement via Twitter, where he wrote, “I am officially committing to THE RUTGERS UNIVERSITY F.A.M.I.L.Y.
“I will do everything in my power and control to continue the championship tradition and culture at Rutgers. I am a Scarlet Knight.”
247Sports.com lists Barbir as a two-star recruit, and the 12th-ranked kicker in the nation, and reports that he received offers from Army, Navy, and the Air Force Academy early in the recruiting process.
He also generated a lot of interest from historically dominant programs like Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, and Penn State.
Barbir attended a camp at Rutgers on Wednesday, June 24, and impressed the coaching staff so much that they offered him a scholarship the very next day.
Big Ten foes Illinois made a late push to sway Barbir with an offer earlier this month, but ultimately he chose the Scarlet Knights.
With current Rutgers kicker Kyle Federico entering his final year of eligibility, Barbir appears to be the favorite to handle kicking duties in 2016.
As the roster currently stands, Rutgers other options at kicker in 2016 will be walk-ons Michael Cintron and Kevin Daly, who will be redshirt sophomores in 2016, and David Bonagura, who will be a redshirt junior.
Unlike those kickers, Barbir will be on scholarship, implying the Rutgers coaching staff thinks highly of him, and will likely have him take over in 2016.
Barbir gained a lot of attention earlier this month when a video surfaced of him nailing a 71-yard field goal.
The longest field goal in Rutgers history was made when John Benestad hit a 55-yarder in a game against West Virginia in 1990.
While Barbir might not get a chance to attempt a 71-yarder during an actual game at Rutgers, knowing he has the power and accuracy to do so has to be encouraging for Scarlet Knights fans.
Rutgers fans will hope Barbir gives a boost to the Scarlet Knights’ special teams when he debuts next fall.
In addition to his strength on field goals, Barbir promises to help the team's field position as a kickoff specialist.
As a junior at South Forsyth last season, 47 of his 55 kickoffs (85.5%) went for touchbacks. He averaged 70 yards on kickoffs, with a high of 80 yards.