- A 5-star kicker and a 3-star punter, Jai Patel, ranked 35th on the list, has committed to Rutgers for the fall of 2022.
Indian American teen Jai Patel of South Brunswick, New Jersey is among the state’s top 75 high school football players for the upcoming season, according to a list culled by NJ Advance Media.
Selections and rankings for the third annual list “were based on productivity, potential, stats, leadership and the kind of talent each player has flashed thus far in their respective high school career,” NJ Advance Media says. “With players of this caliber, we realize we are splitting hairs, as the majority of this list will go on to play major Division 1 college football.”
Patel, a senior at the South Brunswick High School is on the 35th spot. He is the lone Indian American on the list. Last season for South Brunswick, Patel made 7 of 8 field-goal attempts, including a long of 40 yards, NJ Advance Media says, adding that Patel “was a perfect 22 of 22 with PAT’s (extra points). He is known for a strong work ethic and strong technique.
This June, Patel committed to Rutgers starting in Fall 2022. Saturday Traditions, Rutgers football news portal says “Patel will be a preferred walk-on for the Scarlet Knights.”
Announcing his decision on Twitter, the 17-year-old wrote: “First I would like to thank my mom and dad, and my sisters for their unconditional love, support and encouragement. Next, I would like to thank my coaches in South Brunswick for being tremendous leaders and role models and guiding me how to conduct myself best as a student-athlete. I would like to thank coach Scheier, Coach Bruno, Coach Miller and Coach Schiano for their time and commitment in recruiting me from day one.”
According to On The Banks, a news portal on Rutgers sports teams, “Patel should compete for the starting job at placekicker as soon as he arrives on campus next year.”
A 5-star kicker in the 2022 class, per Kohl’s Kicking Camps, Patel is also listed as a 3-star punter. Patel was named a USA TODAY First-Team New Jersey All-State kicker in 2020, his junior season. He also set his high school record for the longest field goal at 44 yards in 2019.
“Patel’s most recent camp was a 2021 May Showcase,” says his profile on Kohl’s Kicking. “He did very well in the field goal charting phase at camp,” the profile says, adding that Patel’s “kickoffs are solid for a rising senior in high school.” Kohl calls Patel “one of the cleanest ball-strikers in his class.” He ranks as the No. 27 kicker in the 2022 class.