“We’re hoping that the fans will show up and support this football team,” the Rutgers coach said. “This team has been through a lot in the last year. In the last months I’ve been able to watch this team train, form bonds of trust with each other, do everything that we’ve asked them to do — they’ve behaved the right way, they go to class. They’re really excited about playing for each other.
“The atmosphere that is created for the spring game in that stadium I think is really important for not only our players, but for recruiting. We’ll have a number of top recruits here from the state and this region. Anytime they show up and there’s a tremendous fan support and a great environment they can get excited about, it helps in recruiting. I think it’s really that our football team, the athletic department, the student body and the fans all work together to help us create a great environment for not only our team, but for the recruits and wanting people to be a part of our program.”
As it turned out, the final attendance for Ash’s first spring game as Rutgers coach was 14,177.
“I’d like to thank the fans that showed up tonight,” Ash said after the Scarlet topped the White squad, 33-20. “I wasn’t out there in the pregame for the tailgates, but it sounded like it was a really good environment. It ended up being a great evening, and I’m really appreciative to the fans to support this football team. Like a lot events that we have, we’re looking to make each event bigger and better and we’ll do the same with the spring game.
“But, again, I thought it was a great turnout for our first spring game. I appreciate the fan’s support and looking forward to having them come back this fall.”
That total is less than last year’s 15,782 attendance, and ranks eighth best in attendance figures for the Scarlet-White game since 2007.
The all-time best crowd for the spring game was 21,120 in 2011.