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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Rutgers
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  09/20/21 - Aron CruickshankrSr/2022, Rutgers, 5-09, 170 (DS#76 WR) + More +

  SEPT 20 BIG TEN CO-SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Aron Cruickshank, Rutgers, WR - Jr. - Brooklyn, N.Y. - Erasmus Hall (N.Y.),...Recorded a career-long 62-yard punt return for a touchdown in Rutgers' 45-13 win over Delaware. Marked his first collegiate punt return for a touchdown and his fifth career kick return touchdown (four kickoff return touchdowns)...Finished the game with 151 all-purpose yards, including 77 punt return yards and 38 kickoff return yards. Added 26 receiving yards and 10 rushing yards on offense...Is tied for second among all active FBS players with five career kick return touchdowns (four kickoff return and one punt return)...Garners the second Special Teams Player of the Week honor of his career and his first since Nov. 18, 2019 while playing for Wisconsin...Last Rutgers Special Teams Player of the Week: Adam Korsak (Sept. 13, 2021). - Big Ten Football

(DS#76 WR) rSr/2022 WR Aron CruickshankRutgers
News Source: Big Ten Football
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  09/18/21 - Isaih PachecoSr/2022, Rutgers, 5-11, 215 (DS#30 RB) + More +

  Three games into the season, Rutgers found its big-play offense. Noah Vedral threw for two touchdowns and Isaih Pacheco ran for two more as the Scarlet Knights defeated Delaware 45-13 Saturday for its first 3-0 start since 2012. Vedral found Bo Melton on a 28-yard touchdown pass on his opening possession. He hit Brandon Sanders on a 62-yarder for the other TD in helping the Scarlet Knights take 35-10 half lead over their FCS opponent.

Vedral said offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson pushed the group in practice. "It's the little things; the little things," said Vedral, who was 21 of 25 for 323 yards. "We were close here and we were close there, kind of keeping us from kind of reaching this explosive potential that we always felt we had. So really big day for us to kind of put the pieces together and to see it come together on the field." The statistics were impressive. Rutgers had a season-high 497 yards in total offense and didn't turn the ball over for the third straight game. "I think any time you perform efficiently like that, that would help anybody's confidence," coach Greg Schiano said of Vedral. "Noah doesn't lack for confidence, though. He's a very confident guy because he prepares so well." Pacheco tallied on runs of 20 and 7 yards, while Aaron Young plowed into the end zone from 6 yards out for the Big Ten Conference team. Aron Cruickshank excited the crowd of 40,129 with a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown. - Rutgers/AP College Football


(DS#30 RB) Sr/2022 RB Isaih PachecoRutgers
News Source: Rutgers/AP College Football
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  09/13/21 - Adam KorsakrSr/2022, Rutgers, 6-1, 180 (DS#22 P) + More +

  SEPT 13 BIG TEN CO-SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Adam Korsak, Rutgers, P - Sr. - Melbourne, Australia - Maribyrnong College (Melbourne, Australia),...Set career highs in both gross (52.2) and net (51.7) punting averages in the Scarlet Knights' 17-7 win at Syracuse...Pinned 5-of-6 punts inside the 20 and registered four punts of 50-plus yards...Hit a 69-yard punt which tied for the seventh-longest punt in program history...Garners the first Special Teams Player of the Week honor of his career...Last Rutgers Special Teams Player of the Week: Janarion Grant (Sept. 12, 2016). - Big Ten Football

(DS#22 P) rSr/2022 P Adam KorsakRutgers
News Source: Big Ten Football
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  09/11/21 - Noah VedralrSr/2022, Rutgers, 6-1, 200 (DS#71 QB) + More +

  Rutgers took advantage of two Syracuse second-half miscues and downed the Orange 17-7 Saturday. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Syracuse (1-1) coach Dino Babers after he disputed a personal foul call on Orange linebacker Mikel Jones gave Rutgers (2-0) a first down on the Syracuse 11. Kyle Monangai ran it in on the next play to give the Scarlet Knights a 7-0 lead with 6:46 to go in the third quarter.

A fumble by Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito was recovered on the Orange 10 and a 27-yard field goal by Rutgers' Valentino Ambrosio made it 17-7 with 8:23 remaining in the game. "I'm not quite sure what happened," Babers said of the unsportsmanlike call. "I thought I saw a play (on which Jones was called for the personal foul) and I'm trying not to get fined. I thought I saw a play where we tackled a guy and he got pushed back. I saw a personal foul called. I didn't see a targeting. "As far as I know, I know I've never had a personal foul penalty called on me as a head coach. I know I've never had one called on me as an assistant coach and I'm pretty doggone sure that I never had one called on me as a player and I've been playing since the 60s." Rutgers' 2-0 start is the team's first since 2014. Noah Vedral was 22 of 28 for Rutgers for 145 yards and a 30-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jovani Haskins. He was sacked four times by a Syracuse defense that held the Scarlet Knights to 198 yards. "I thought he did a heckuva job," Schiano said. "Took care of the football. Made plays when he had the chance. I thought he did exactly what he had to do." - Rutgers/AP College Football


(DS#71 QB) rSr/2022 QB Noah VedralRutgers
News Source: Rutgers/AP College Football
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  09/04/21 - Aron CruickshankrSr/2022, Rutgers, 5-09, 170 (DS#76 WR) + More +

  Greg Schiano ran his team out of the tunnel in front of a sellout crowd at SHI Stadium, like he'd done so many times before during his 13 years as the Rutgers coach. Playing in front of fans for the first time since his highly anticipated return to Piscataway in December of 2019, things didn't go as planned. The 55-year-old coach led his team down the tunnel, veered right and fell to the turf after colliding with a TV cameraperson. "That was the low point of the day," Schiano said. "So that was good."

Aron Cruickshank had a career-high 206 all-purpose yards, the special teams made big plays, the defense was stifling and the offense managed the game as Rutgers opened the season with a 61-14 win over Temple on Saturday. Rutgers scored over 60 points for the first time since 2016, and first time against an FBS opponent since 2008. Noah Vedral was 15-of-27 passing for 138 yards and a touchdown for Rutgers. He also had a team-high 58 yards on eight rushes. Cruickshank returned four kicks for 113 yards and two punts for 55 yards, and he carried it three times for 24 and caught one pass for 14. - Rutgers/AP College Football


(DS#76 WR) rSr/2022 WR Aron CruickshankRutgers
News Source: Rutgers/AP College Football
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  08/26/21 - Peyton PowellrSo/2024, Rutgers, 6-1, 181 (DS#999 QB) + More +

  Peyton Powell's time at Rutgers has ended. Citing Rutgers University's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the defensive back announced Tuesday that he has entered the NCAA transfer portal. Powell, a Texas native, transferred to Rutgers in December 2019. He did not see any playing time while with the program. "The University of Rutgers has made the COVID vaccine mandatory to attend school and play football, therefore I have no other choice but to enter my name into the transfer portal," Powell said in a tweet. Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said at the start of training camp that Powell was not a part of the Scarlet Knights' roster. When asked again about Powell's status following Monday's practice, Schiano said that nothing had changed at that point. Powell joined Baylor as part of the 2019 recruiting class, but then left the program before the start of the season. He initially committed to Utah before flipping to Rutgers. - Asbury Park Press

(DS#999 QB) rSo/2024 QB Peyton PowellRutgers
News Source: Asbury Park Press
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  08/18/21 - Shameen JonesrSr/2022, Rutgers, 6-1, 185 (DS#174 WR) + More +

  Shameen Jones was a largely-forgotten member of a perennially-underachieving position group when Greg Schiano was re-hired at Rutgers roughly 20 months ago. Most players would have been on the fast track for the transfer portal in similar circumstances. But when Schiano promised the entire program a blank slate, Jones took it to heart. "When I arrived here, the opinions of Shameen were not super high," Schiano said. "But I just watched him in our workouts until we got shut down, and I thought he did everything really well." Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. But Jones' momentum did not slow, even if Schiano could not see the progress. That realization did not come until the Scarlet Knights returned to campus after three months away, when the coach walked down the tunnel from the Hale Center into SHI Stadium and barely recognized the former Cardinal Hayes star.

Jones looked bigger and stronger. When drills began, he proved he was faster and better. A remarkable career revitalization was well underway. Jones managed just two catches for 15 yards on one of the most talent-challenged teams in school history in 2019, but he was Rutgers' comeback player of the year in 2020, hauling in 34 catches for 378 yards and three touchdowns while starting all nine games. Now the Scarlet Knights are looking for Jones' true breakout campaign as they aim to take the next step as an offense and earn a bowl bid for the first time since 2014. "This is the best football I've ever played," Jones said. "[Schiano] has always pushed me to a higher level, even when sometimes I'm not at the standard he wants me to be. He finds different ways to get things out of me, push me to go harder." - Star Ledger


(DS#174 WR) rSr/2022 WR Shameen JonesRutgers
News Source: Star Ledger
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  08/17/21 - Aaron YoungrSo/2024, Rutgers, 5-09, 205 (DS#55 RB) + More +

  Aaron Young considers himself an all-purpose back that can do it all. The Rutgers offense can take another step forward this fall if it can get more out of him. "He's a running back. That's what he is. But he can go anywhere," coach Greg Schiano said. "He can line up outside at wideout and be proficient at that, he's a really good special teams. He's a very valuable guy to our football team, and really a smart player. We're going to lean on him quite a bit."

Young fits offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson's creative scheme well. At 5-foot-10 and 205 pounds, he's sturdy but shifty; best suited to make things happen in space but also capable of running between the tackles. His status as a member of the backfield is without doubt, but he can step right in as a receiver without missing a stride. But it felt at times last season like the Scarlet Knights were just not maximizing his abilities. - Star Ledger


(DS#55 RB) rSo/2024 RB Aaron YoungRutgers
News Source: Star Ledger
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  08/15/21 - Christian IzienrJr/2023, Rutgers, 5-10, 200 (DS#19 SS) + More +

  Rutgers is hoping Christian Izien can pick up where he left off last season. The Scarlet Knights safety is confident he will. The Queens native started all nine contests in 2020 and piled up 66 tackles to go along with three fumble recoveries. But the 5-foot-10, 200-pound Izien showed clear progress over the course of the season and racked up four interceptions in the final three games. Izien believes he can continue that momentum once this season starts. "Definitely better preparation of course, but some scheme things as well," Izien said following Rutgers' practice on Monday. "Some things we're going to go forward with this season, just to help the team overall, help me be in a better position to make plays."

He became one of the most impactful playmakers for Rutgers' defense toward the end of last season. Izien earned his first career interception against Penn State, then had another in the Scarlet Knights' win over Maryland before picking off two more passes in the season finale against Nebraska. His four interceptions ranked tied for third in the Big Ten and eighth in the nation. - Asbury Park Press


(DS#19 SS) rJr/2023 SS Christian IzienRutgers
News Source: Asbury Park Press
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  08/12/21 - Isaih PachecoSr/2022, Rutgers, 5-11, 215 (DS#30 RB) + More +

  Isaih Pacheco had no idea about Rutgers' recent history of producing 1,000-yard rushers. But the Scarlet Knights senior running back set the goal anyway. "Absolutely, it's one of my goals because I had 1,000 yards when I was in high school," Pacheco said following Friday's training-camp practice. "But that was as a quarterback. Now I'm looking at the running back standard." Still, Pacheco was unaware of just how rare of a feat it's been at Rutgers over the past decade. No Rutgers player has cracked the 1,000-yard rushing plateau since Jawan Jamison tallied 1,075 yards in 2012. "It is kind of hard to believe," Pacheco said. "I didn't do my research on it because I just put my head down and work. But that's my goal, and I know that I'm going to get it because how hard I've been working." Since 2013, only 10 of the current 130 FBS college football teams haven't had a player rush for 1,000 yards in a season, an NJ Advance Media statistical analysis revealed.

Joining Rutgers on the list are Akron, Duke, FIU, Kent State, Miami-Ohio, Purdue, Syracuse, UMass and Washington State. Still, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano insists that's not how he'll ultimately judge Pacheco's success this season. "He can have a great year and not rush for 1,000 yards and he can have a not-so-great year and rush for 1,000 yards. I don't know if that's the gold standard," he said. "I want to see him do what he's capable of doing. I thought at times last year he did. And other times not as much. "And some of it wasn't directly his fault. We have to do a good job up front, and he has to trust the plays and be patient with the plays. And when he does that I think he's a really big-time running back. Strong, explosive, fast, tough - (he) has all the tools. And I know our whole staff is looking for him to put it together on a consistent basis. We've all seen flashes. I'd like to see it on a consistent basis, because if he does he'll be as good as there is." - Star Ledger


(DS#30 RB) Sr/2022 RB Isaih PachecoRutgers
News Source: Star Ledger
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  08/10/21 - Noah VedralrSr/2022, Rutgers, 6-1, 200 (DS#71 QB) + More +

  Noah Vedral is not going anywhere. Rutgers' incumbent, no-doubt starting quarterback -- boy, is that strange to write -- made that very clear. He is back at full health to lead the Scarlet Knights' offense again this fall, he intends to return in 2022 for his final year of eligibility and he wants to keep playing after that if someone will pay him to do so. But when his cleats are finally hung up, he wants to be a coach. And he is dipping his toe in those waters this summer.

Vedral's focus during training camp is preparing for his second season at Rutgers, but he is also doing everything he can to bring along his young understudies, Evan Simon and Cole Snyder, as they battle for the backup job. "It's weird to say it's my fifth camp, but I have a lot of tips I've learned along the way. How to prepare, the time you should go to sleep, and to pass that stuff along is a lot of fun," Vedral said. "That's kind of why I realized I wanted to be a coach. I like doing that stuff. I like to share and see them use it and benefit. See them rise as a little tip here and there make their life easier, free them up to play faster. It's a lot of fun right now to be a mentor to them." - Star Ledger


(DS#71 QB) rSr/2022 QB Noah VedralRutgers
News Source: Star Ledger
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  08/06/21 - Robin JutwretenrJr/2023, Rutgers, 6-4, 265 (DS#999 DE) + More +

  Peyton Powell's Rutgers career may be over without a single regular season snap. The defensive back is not currently a member of the program, coach Greg Schiano said Wednesday after the first practice of training camp at the Marco Battaglia Complex in Piscataway. But Schiano did not rule out the possibility the Texas native could return at some point. Powell, who signed with Rutgers as a splashy transfer in Dec. 2019, did not appear in any games last fall. The former four-star athlete recruit from famed Permian High did see time at safety in May's spring game.

"Right now, he's not part of the team," Schiano said. "We'll see if he does become part of the team. But as we speak, he isn't on the roster." Schiano also announced nose guard Robin Jutwreten, who played in eight games last fall, has medically retired. He will remain with the team as a student assistant. And Temple defensive back Christian Braswell will not play this season after undergoing knee surgery. "It's a shame, because [Jutwreten] is a great person, a great hard worker," Schiano said. "He's going to help us as a coach and still be an important part of what we do." - Star Ledger


(DS#999 DE) rJr/2023 DE Robin JutwretenRutgers
News Source: Star Ledger
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  08/06/21 - Joshua YoungbloodrSo/2024, Rutgers, 5-09, 180 (DS#50 WR) + More +

  Rutgers brought in a speedy, dynamic wide receiver/kick returner last year in Wisconsin transfer Aron Cruickshank. Now they have another in Youngblood, a transfer from Kansas State. Youngblood was an All-American kick returner as a true freshman in 2019 and the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year after returning three kickoffs for touchdowns, a national best. He'll be another weapon for Rutgers and special teams coordinator Adam Scheier. It'll also be interesting to see how much the Scarlet Knights incorporate him into the offense early on. Youngblood was limited in spring practices because of injury, but Schiano said at Big Ten media days that the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Youngblood was feeling "much better." "He's got an opportunity to jump in there and become not only a return guy, but in our wide receiver rotation," Schiano said. - Asbury Park Press

(DS#50 WR) rSo/2024 WR Joshua YoungbloodRutgers
News Source: Asbury Park Press
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  08/06/21 - Johnny LanganrJr/2023, Rutgers, 6-2, 235 (DS#999 QB) + More +

  Johnny Langan is still listed as a quarterback on the training-camp roster distributed by Rutgers officials Wednesday. But the junior out of Bergen Catholic could've been listed the way some recruits are pegged when they arrive without a clearly defined position: as an athlete. "He's a quarterback but he's also a multi-positional player," Schiano said. "So he can line up at wideout, he can line up at tight end, he can line up at running back. In different packages he'll line up in different spots. That's a good weapon to have."

Take the opening day of Rutgers' camp for example: Langan took repetitions with the tight ends and, unlike the five other quarterbacks on the roster, he didn't wear a green (non-contact) jersey. "He's 'Johnny Offense," Scarlet Knights quarterback Noah Vedral said. "He's a really big tool for us so we want to use him. His role is as diverse as ever." After starting the final eight games at quarterback for Rutgers in 2019, Langan emerged as a jack-of-all-trades performer last season in offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson's scheme. In addition to throwing for 92 yards and two touchdowns on 10-for-13 passing, Langan rushed for a team-high four touchdowns and his 201 rushing yards were second-best on the team. And he tallied 10 receiving yards on two receptions. - Star Ledger


(DS#999 QB) rJr/2023 QB Johnny LanganRutgers
News Source: Star Ledger
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  08/05/21 - Olakunle FatukasirSr/2022, Rutgers, 6-1, 240 (DS#7 ILB) + More +

  Not long after he took the Rutgers job in December 2019, Greg Schiano went to the film room for a scouting expedition. The purpose, the Scarlet Knights coach said, was to take a deep dive into his team's top players in order to figure out what his program needed longterm on the recruiting trail. One of the first players he studied was a weak-linebacker who finished second on the team in tackles in 2019. "I thought he closed the ground to the ball carrier very quickly. He had a good accelerator. There were some things we wanted to correct, some fundamentals, but overall we saw a very talented player," Schiano said. This was Schiano's first impression of Olakunle Fatukasi, who would end up leading the Big Ten in tackles last season. "He led the Big Ten in tackles but more than that he's a student of the game," said Schiano, whose Scarlet Knights held their first preseason-camp practice Tuesday in preparation for the 2021 season. "He's going to be a really, really fine professional football player because he loves it, he studies it, he lives the game, and takes care of himself the way that a pro football player takes care of himself. So he's a great example, not only his production on the field, but he's a great example for our younger players and for our newcomers that are just starting with us."

Schiano brought in more than two dozen newcomers as part of Rutgers' recruiting class this offseason. But he said "the biggest recruit we signed this year" was Fatukasi, who opted to return for his fifth-year senior campaign rather than enter the 2021 NFL Draft. "It wasn't a tough decision at all," Fatukasi said, reiterating the tweet he sent out to announced his return following his All-Big Ten campaign. "Unfinished business. I wanted to get better as a football player, I wanted to be a better leader, a better teammate, and know the playbook better. Still not done yet," the Scarlet Knight nicknamed "O3?" said. - Star Ledger


(DS#7 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Olakunle FatukasiRutgers
News Source: Star Ledger
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