Bullis junior offensive lineman Justin Herron orally committed to Rutgers Thursday, citing the program’s move to the Big 10 as one of the key influences in his decision.

The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Herron, who also sparked interest from Maryland, Michigan and Michigan State — also chose the Scarlet Knights over Villanova, where his family carries an established athletic legacy. His father, Reggie Herron as well as uncles Larry and Keith all starred for the Wildcats basketball program in the 1970’s. The academics, among other factors, gave Herron the assurance that Rutgers was the right fit.

“It was a decision that I had to make for me. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be,” Herron said. “I just looked over everything that I learned from today, and this is the place that I want to be.”

Rutgers announced in November that it plans to join the Big 10 in 2014 after two decades spent in the Big East — and Herron said he took plenty notice of that move. In addition, the program has a tradition of producing NFL caliber offensive lineman, he noted, which aligns with his goals to play at the next level following college.

“They’re going to the Big 10. That was one big seller,” Herron said. “They produce offensive lineman that go pro. They have five coaches on staff, currently, at Rutgers, that played in the NFL, and they can help me become the best college football offensive lineman that I can be.”

Herron plans to redshirt his freshman year, adding that he is open to playing either guard or tackle at the next level. Herron has played on both sides of the ball the past two seasons at Bullis — at both defensive tackle and right  tackle – but he is projected to move to the left tackle slot for the Bulldogs in the fall. The transition to the college game will not be easy, Herron admitted Thursday, but he intends to add polish to his technique on both sides of the ball his senior year.

“I feel like I’m able to breathe,” Herron said, “now that I got this huge part of my life out of the way.”

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