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Wormley to take his success from Burlington Township to Rutgers

Everett Wormley is willing to accept a challenge, and few are bigger on the college football landscape than trying to turn things around at Rutgers.

Everett Wormley is willing to accept a challenge, and few are bigger on the college football landscape than trying to turn things around at Rutgers.

Wormley is a senior wide receiver at Burlington Township who concluded his fine career with a 24-19 win Wednesday at Rancocas Valley, enabling the Falcons to finish 9-2.

He made an oral commitment to Rutgers months ago, and he has no plans to change his mind even though some recruiters have tried to persuade him to do just that.

It's been a hard year for first-year Rutgers coach Chris Ash, whose Scarlet Knights will take a 2-9 record into the season finale Saturday at Maryland.

Against Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State, the Scarlet Knights were outscored, 224-0.

Despite those struggles, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Wormley is unwavering in his commitment.

"I am 100 percent sold on Rutgers," he said. "I wasn't worried about the wins and losses because I knew they were in a rebuilding year with a new staff, a new playbook."

Recruiting can be a ruthless endeavor. When rival recruiters see a program struggling, they often come in like vultures on athletes who have made commitments. Wormley said he has heard from his share of recruiters since he made his decision to attend Rutgers.

He said the message from recruiters is usually the same.

"They will slide me a Twitter DM and say, 'Look at Rutgers record,' " Wormley said.

Then they suggest that maybe he should decommit.

"I tell them I appreciate it, but I am sticking to the home-state school and try to rebuild things," he said.

Players certainly have the right to change their minds. Look at all the coaches who recruit players and then take off for another school after getting what they perceive to be a better offer.

Still, contacting a player who has committed seems as if it should be off-limits. Expecting that to happen is being naive.

"Colleges contact kids who have committed because they know how kids are," said Burlington Township coach Tom Maderia, a former college assistant at West Virginia.

Maderia said that programs that have struggled need to recruit individuals with great character. In his mind, Rutgers is getting the total package in Wormley.

"He is just a great kid," Maderia said. "His mom and dad have done a fantastic job raising him."

It's interesting, but Wormley said that when he entered high school some people tried to steer him away from Burlington Township.

"When I came to high school, certain people said, 'Don't go there. You will never win there, and you will never get a scholarship,' " he said. "Now I have been part of one of the winningest classes, and nothing feels better in the world than to make plays for my town."

The Falcons had winning records all four of his years.

Wormley has been playing varsity since his freshman year. That season he returned a kickoff for a touchdown in a playoff win over Middletown South.

"No moment is too big for him," Maderia said.

Nor is any challenge.

Still, when Wormley sees the won-loss record at Rutgers, his only thought is to do his best to change it.

"I want to be a difference maker," he said.