2019 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS CAPSULE
HEAD COACH: Name: Chris Ash
Hometown: Ottumwa, Iowa
High School: Ottumwa High School
Bachelor’s Degree: Drake, education, 1996
Master’s Degree: Iowa State, education, 2005
School Record (years): 7-29 (3)
Big Ten Record (years): 3-24 (3)
Career Record (years): 7-29 (3)
Chris Ash took over the helm of the Rutgers football program, his first season as a head coach in 2016, culminating a nearly 20-year career as an assistant coach. A coach with a national championship pedigree, Ash enjoyed a decorated and accomplished career prior to arriving “On the Banks,” including five years in the Big Ten Conference (four as a defensive coordinator) with four Big Ten championships. Ash built a reputation as a relentless and tireless worker throughout his various stops. Upon becoming the 30th head coach in the 147-year history at the Birthplace of College Football, Ash made clear his vision for the Scarlet Knights program. “I want to build a first-class program here, a program that the University, the State of New Jersey, high school coaches and high school players can be proud to say that this program is theirs and they want to come here and be a part of it.” Ash has embarked on outlining the plans to complete that vision, which includes a mission to create an environment to develop student-athletes mentally, physically and spiritually to reach their full potential and to be successful in life after football. The 2017 season was one marked by improvements for the Scarlet Knights as the team matched its program record for victories in Big Ten play, tying a league win total from 2014, the first year in the conference. Rutgers defeated Illinois on the road for its first road league win in two seasons and topped both Purdue and Maryland in front its home crowd. In his previous post before Rutgers, Ash served as co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Ohio State and helped lead the Buckeyes to the 2014 national championship.
In his five seasons as a defensive coordinator, Ash pioneered four groups ranked in the top 25 statistically, including a top-10 defensive unit in 2015. As the defense coordinator at Wisconsin in 2011 and 2012, the Badgers put together back-to-back seasons ranked 15th overall in total defense. The 2011 squad was 13th in scoring defense while the 2012 team turned in a 17th-place ranking. Ash was hired by Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer in January 2014 to improve a Buckeye defense that placed 112th in pass defense and 47th in total defense in 2013. In his first season, OSU’s defense ranked 19th nationally in total defense and 29th in pass defense. The Buckeyes also ranked fourth in the country with 24 interceptions en route to Big Ten, Sugar Bowl and national championships. In 2015, the Ohio State defense continued its strides under Ash, ranking second in scoring defense nationally and ninthbest in total defense. The Buckeyes earned a berth in the Fiesta Bowl, finishing the season with a 12-1 record after defeating Notre Dame in the bowl game. The 2016 NFL Draft saw numerous players from Ash’s defensive unit selected, including the first overall defensive player in Joey Bosa, who was picked third by the San Diego Chargers. In all, the draft featured six defensive players taken from Ohio State with three in the first round. Prior to taking over the OSU defense, Ash held the defensive coordinator post and coached the secondary at the University of Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference in 2013 under head coach Bret Bielema. He helped improve Arkansas’ pass defense in his one season in Fayetteville, with the Razorbacks’ defense finishing 72nd nationally in passing yards allowed after ranking 113th in 2012. Ash was first promoted to the defensive coordinator role in the Big Ten while at the University of Wisconsin, where he spent three seasons with the Badgers. His 2011 defense led the Big Ten (conference games only) in total defense and pass defense efficiency, and it ranked fourth nationally in fewest passing yards allowed (163.6), 13th in scoring (19.0) and 15th in total defense (316.4). In 2012, the UW defense ranked 15th nationally in total defense (322.5), 17th in scoring (19.1), 18th in fewest passing yards allowed (193.6), 22nd in pass efficiency and 24th against the run (128.9).
Ash began his coaching career as a defensive graduate assistant at his alma mater, Drake University, in 1997. He was promoted to defensive coordinator for the next two seasons before moving on to Iowa State University in 2000. Ash spent eight seasons over two different stints in Ames, including the 2009 season, during which current Texas head coach Tom Herman was also on the staff. Ash progressed from graduate assistant with the Cyclones in 2000-01 to defensive backs coach for a total of six seasons. Ash spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons at San Diego State University as the defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator under head coach and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Long. Ash has produced numerous instructional videos, including a three-video series — “Aggressive 4-3 Defense” — that includes shutting down the passing game and stuffing the run segments. He has coached 34 different players that have gone on to sign NFL contracts. A native of Ottumwa, Iowa, Ash earned his undergraduate degree from Drake in 1996, and was a two-time letterwinner at defensive back for the Bulldogs. He is one of three from that era of Drake football who became a FBS head coach, joining Dave Doeren (NC State) and Charlie Partridge (formerly with Florida Atlantic). Ash completed his master’s degree in education from Iowa State in 2005. Ash and his wife, Doreen, are the parents of a son, Brady and daughter, Alexis. Ash also has a son, Tanner, and a daughter, Jacey.
Andy Buh (Defensive Coordinator/
John McNulty (Offensive Coordinator/
Vince Okruch (Special Teams
Noah Joseph (Co-Defensive
Corey Brown (Defensive Line)
Nunzio Campanile (Tight Ends)
Lester Erb (Wide Receivers)
Pete Rossomando (Offensive Line)
Kolby Smith (Running Backs)
Jay Valai (Cornerbacks)
Kenny Parker (Head Football Strength
1-11, 0-9 Big Ten
9/1 W, 35-7 Texas State
9/8 L, 3-52 at Ohio State
9/15 L, 14-55 at Kansas
9/22 L, 13-42 Buffalo
9/29 L, 17-24 Indiana
10/6 L, 17-38 Illinois
10/13 L, 7-34 Maryland
10/20 L, 15-18 Northwestern
11/3 L, 17-31 at Wisconsin
11/10 L, 7-42 Michigan
11/17 L, 7-20 Penn State
11/24 L, 10-14 at Michigan State
9/7 at Iowa
9/21 Boston College
9/28 at Michigan
10/12 at Indiana
11/2 at Illinois
11/16 Ohio State
11/23 Michigan State
11/30 at Penn State
First Year of Football: 1869
All-Time Record (Years):
All-Time Big Ten Record (Years):
Big Ten Championships (Last): None
All-Time Bowl Record: 6-4
National Championships: 1 (1869)
Consensus All-America Selections: 4
First-Team All-Big Ten Selections: 2
Name: High Point Solutions Stadium
53,774 vs. Penn State, 2014
Team Record at Home Stadium:
2019 ROSTER BREAKDOWN
Letterwinners Returning: 35
Special Teams: 3
Offensive Starters Returning (8*)
OL Zach Venesky
OL Michael Maietti
OL Kamaal Seymour
QB Artur Sitkowski
RB Raheem Blackshear
WR Bo Melton
WR Shameen Jones
TE Daevon Robinson
Defensive Starters Returning (5*)
DL Julius Turner
DL Elorm Lumor
LB Tyreek Maddox-Williams
DB Damon Hayes
DB Avery Young
Starting Kickers Returning (2)
P Adam Korsak
K Justin Davidovicz
Letterwinners Lost: 18
Special Teams: 0
Offensive Starters Lost (4*)
OL Tariq Cole
OL Jonah Jackson
TE Jerome Washington
RB Jonathan Hilliman
Defensive Starters Lost (8*)
DL Kevin Wilkins
DL Jon Bateky
LB Trevor Morris
LB Deonte Roberts
DB Damon Hayes
DB Blessuan Austin
DB Isaiah Wharton
DB Saquan Hampton
Starting Kickers Lost (0)
*Includes split-time starters
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS
#2 RAHEEM BLACKSHEAR RB • Jr. • 5-9 • 192 Philadelphia, Pa./ Archbishop Wood Catholic 2019 Team Captain 2018 Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches) 2018 Academic All-Big Ten 2019 (Junior): Earned a spot on the Paul Hornung Award watch list (7/25) … named a team captain. 2018 (Sophomore): Played in all 12 games with 10 starts at running back … named honorable mention All-Big Ten in the coaches’ vote (11/28) … named to the Academic All-Big Ten list (12/5) … led the team with 143 carries, 586 rushing yards, 44 receptions, 367 receiving yards, 43 first downs picked up and 1,136 all-purpose yards … first Scarlet Knight since Albert Smith in 1985 to lead the team in rushing and receiving yards in a season … scored five touchdowns (three rushing, two receiving) … collected a team-high 13 plays gaining 20 or more yards … had two 100-yard rushing games and one receiving … only player on the team to record a catch in all 12 games … added 184 yards on kickoff returns with a long of 25 … totaled 29 receiving yards at Michigan State (11/24) … rushed for 102 yards on 22 attempts with a touchdown versus No. 16 Penn State (11/17) … collected five receptions and 41 rushing yards against No. 4 Michigan (11/10) … racked up a season-high 200 all-purpose yards at Wisconsin (11/3), including 162 receiving, most by a RU running back in program history, on eight receptions with a touchdown … had six receptions and 15 carries versus Illinois (10/6) … added 86 all-purpose yards on eight carries and four receptions against Indiana (9/29) … scored a 14-yard touchdown on the ground versus Buffalo (9/22) … recorded 102 rushing yards on 19 carries at Kansas (9/15) … ran for 31 yards and hauled in three receptions at No. 4 Ohio State (9/8) … started at running back in the season opener versus Texas State (9/1) and recorded a rushing and a receiving touchdown … led the team with seven receptions and 150 allpurpose yards against the Bobcats. 2017 (Freshman): Played in 11 games … an honorable mention pick to the Big Ten Network All-Freshman Team … averaged 6.1 yards per carry with 238 rushing yards on 39 carries … added seven receptions for 133 yards … scored five total touchdowns (three rushing, two receiving) … totaled 334 kickoff return yards to finish with 705 all-purpose yards, second-most on the team … hauled in a 42-yard touchdown reception versus No. 16 Michigan State (11/25) … registered two carries at No. 14 Penn State (11/11) and two at Indiana (11/18) … ran back a 44-yard kickoff return in the win versus Maryland (11/4) … hauled in a 35-yard touchdown reception in the victory over Purdue (10/21) … recorded a 19-yard touchdown in the win at Illinois (10/14), finishing with six carries for 87 yards (14.5 average) … had a 41-yard rush against the Fighting Illini … notched a 14-yard reception and five kickoff returns versus No. 11 Ohio State (9/30) … led the team with 102 rushing yards in the win over Morgan State (9/16) with two touchdowns, finishing with a game-high 132 all-purpose yards … had three carries in collegiate debut versus No. 8 Washington (9/1), including a six-yard run on the third offensive play of the season. Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Steve Devlin at Archbishop Wood Catholic … helped the Vikings to a 11-2 record and a PIAA Class AAAAA state title … produced 236 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the championship game … finished 2016 with 1,257 yards rushing with 19 touchdowns on the ground … also caught 26 passes for 433 yards and five receiving scores … First Team 5A All-State selection as an athlete by the Pennsylvania Football Writers … contributed 409 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns along with 395 receiving yards and seven touchdown receptions as a junior … three-star prospect and second overall running back in Pennsylvania by Scout … 29th best recruit in the Keystone State and a three-star player by ESPN … top-40 player in the state and a three-star recruit by 247Sports. Personal: A criminal justice major.
#2 AVERY YOUNG DB • So. • 6-0 • 194 Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville 2018 (Freshman): Played in all 12 games with starts in the last 11 games at cornerback … led the secondary with 66 tackles with 35 against the run, 30 in pass coverage and one on special teams … broke up 10 passes … returned nine punts for 61 yards for an average of 6.8 per attempt … had a long punt return of 22 yards … broke up three passes and made six tackles at Michigan State (11/24) … collected nine tackles against No. 4 Michigan (11/10), including a fourth down to force a turnover on downs … posted six tackles at Wisconsin (11/3) … totaled a season-high 10 stops and knocked away two passes against Northwestern (10/20) … added six tackles with one for a loss at Maryland (10/13) … had two pass breakups versus Illinois (10/6) … deflected a pass and made four tackles against Indiana (9/29) … registered nine tackles with 25 yards on punt returns versus Buffalo (9/22) … made three stops at Kansas (9/15) … picked up six tackles in first career start at No. 4 Ohio State (9/8) … made collegiate debut against Texas State (9/1) and recorded two tackles and one pass breakup. Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Matt Ortega at Coatesville … led the Red Raiders to a 13-2 record and the PIAA District I Class 6A Finals as a senior … intercepted a pass and returned it 72 yards for the winning touchdown … caught 31 passes for 482 yards and scored eight touchdowns on offense … had five interceptions and four forced fumbles as a senior … intercepted four passes and helped the Red Raiders to 11 wins as a junior … earned first team all-league honors at both wide receiver and defensive back … ranked No. 1 cornerback in PA as a senior by Penn Preps … also played as small forward in varsity basketball rated No. 29 recruit in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com … selected to participate in the 61st annual Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association Big 33 Classic. Personal: Older brother of teammate Aaron Young.
#55 MICHAEL MAIETTI OL • Jr. • 6-1 • 291 West Orange, N.J./Don Bosco Prep 2019 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar 2018 Academic All-Big Ten 2017 Academic All-Big Ten 2019 (Redshirt Junior): Earned a spot on the Rimington Trophy watch list (7/19). 2018 (Redshirt Sophomore): Started all 12 games at center … named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar (7/9) and to the Academic All-Big Ten list (12/5) … part of an offensive line unit that ranked second in the Big Ten and 19th nationally with only 1.33 sacks permitted per game … helped the team to over 200 rushing and passing yards in the season opener against Texas State (9/1). 2017 (Redshirt Freshman): Started nine games at center … named to the Academic All-Big Ten list (12/6) … an honorable mention pick to the Big Ten Network All-Freshman Team … part of an offensive line that tied for first in the Big Ten with only 1.5 sacks permitted per game … part of unit that allowed no sacks and ran for 239 yards in the victory over Maryland (11/4) … helped the offense rush for 274 yards in the win at Illinois (10/14) … saw action in the Big Ten opener at Nebraska (9/23) … made collegiate debut with a start at center in the win over Morgan State (9/16). 2016 (Freshman): Did not see game action … redshirted. Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Greg Toal at Don Bosco Prep … started in 23 career games at center for the Ironmen over three seasons … helped Don Bosco finish 9-3, including a 2015 NJSIAA Non-Public, Group IV State Championship as a senior … team finished as the No. 1 Non-Public high school team and No. 2 team in New Jersey, according to the Star-Ledger … helped pave way for Don Bosco leading rusher, who ran for 1,589 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior … First Team All-State and All-Non Public by the Star-Ledger … First Team All-Suburban Offense by the Ridgewood News … First Team All-New Jersey by MSG Varsity as a senior … Second Team All-Non Public on offense by the Star-Ledger during junior season … an Honorable Mention All-State selection by MSG Varsity as a junior. Personal: A criminal justice major.
#10 ISAIH PACHECO RB • So. • 5-11 • 210 Vineland, N.J./Vineland South 2018 (Freshman): Played in all 12 games with three starts at running back … finished second on the team with 910 all-purpose yards (551 rushing, 348 kickoff return, 11 receiving) … ranked sixth among Big Ten freshmen with 45.9 rushing yards per game … had two 100-yard rushing games … scored three rushing touchdowns … picked up 22 rushing first downs … averaged 19.3 yards on 18 kickoff returns with a long of 34 … completed two passes for 58 yards … added 84 all-purpose yards at Michigan State (11/24) with 42 on kickoff returns, 38 rushing and four receiving … carried the ball 18 times for 53 rushing yards versus No. 16 Penn State (11/17) … ripped off an 80-yard touchdown against No. 4 Michigan (11/10) for the longest rush by a freshman in program history and longest offensive play by RU all season … finished with 142 rushing yards against the Wolverines, tied for the third-most by a Scarlet Knight against a ranked opponent, and added 71 kickoff return yards to end with a game-high 213 all-purpose yards … picked up 55 all-purpose yards at Wisconsin (11/3) … notched a 44-yard rushing touchdown against Northwestern (10/20) … ran for 107 yards on 22 carries with first collegiate touchdown at Maryland (10/13) … made first career start against Indiana (9/29) and later completed a 39-yard pass to lead to a touchdown … ran the ball 10 times at No. 4 Ohio State (9/8) … led the team with 76 rushing yards on 11 carries (6.9 per attempt) in collegiate debut against Texas State (9/1) … enrolled in January and participated in spring practice. Prior to Rutgers: Coached by Dan Russo at Vineland South … played quarterback, running back and defensive back for the Fighting Clan … guided his team to a 8-2 overall record as a senior, including back-to-back playoff appearances … named First Team All-USA New Jersey Football Team on defense by USA Today in 2017 … served as team captain … rushed 154 times for 1,414 yards and 18 touchdowns … also threw for 598 yards and three touchdowns on 43-of-81 attempts … posted 28 tackles, two interceptions, one punt return touchdown and one safety … two-time Cumberland County Champions and 2017 WJFL Continental Division Champions … two-time WJFL All-Continental Division First Team selection at quarterback … named South Jersey Times All-Area on offense as a senior … First Team All-South Jersey selection by the Courier Post … named Third Team All-State on defense by NJ.com … rushed for 1,107 yards with 15 touchdowns on 120 carries as a junior … was named Daily Journal Boy’s Athlete of the Year as a junior for his efforts on both the football and baseball teams … top-30 running back recruit in the country and rated No. 17 overall in New Jersey by 247Sports.com.
2019 RECRUITING CLASS
#22 KAY’RON ADAMS RB • Fr. • 5-10 • 208 Warren, Ohio/Warren G Harding Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach Steve Arnold at Warren G Harding … rushed for 1,710 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior to lead Warren G Harding to Ohio state playoffs … also posted 191 receiving yards with three touchdowns … named Division II All-Ohio Third Team … rated the No. 36 recruit in Ohio by Rivals.com and 43rd by 247Sports. com … also competed on the track & field team.
#3 MATT ALAIMO TE • R-Fr. • 6-4 • 237 Paramus, N.J./St. Joseph Regional (UCLA) 2018 (Freshman at UCLA): Did not see game action … redshirted. Prior to College: Played for head coach Augie Hoffmann at St. Joseph Regional … rated No. 27 tight end in the nation and the No. 12 recruit in the state of New Jersey by 247Sports.com … ranked the No. 13 recruit in New Jersey and the No. 31 tight end in the nation by Rivals.com … ESPN.com’s No. 19 tight end in the nation and the No. 19 prospect in the state of New Jersey … recorded 44 catches for 671 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior … hauled in 25 receptions as a junior for 371 yards and a touchdown … three-star recruit according to 247 Sports, Rivals.com and ESPN.com.
#95 DEVIN BALDWIN DL • Fr. • 6-4 • 260 Southfield, Mich./Southfield A&T Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach Tim Conley at Southfield A&T … had 59 tackles, 12 sacks and three forced fumbles during senior season … First Team AllState selection on defense by The Detroit News … also received First Team All-North honors by The Detroit News … named honorable mention All-State by the Associated Press … rated No. 24 recruit in Michigan by Rivals.com and 31st by 247Sports.com.
#99 MALACHI BURBY DL • Fr. • 6-2 • 280 Berlin, Conn./Cheshire Academy Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach David Dykeman at Cheshire Academy … recorded 42 tackles, one fumble recovery and 9.5 sacks as a senior … posted 45 tackles, 8.5 sacks and a forced fumble during junior season … rated the No. 10 recruit in the state of Connecticut by Rivals.com and 11th by 247Sports.com … recorded 81 tackles and 12 sacks in eight games in 2017 … had two sacks in rivalry win over Suffield Academy … attended same high school as current Scarlet Knight Sam Vretman.
#17 MCLANE CARTER QB • Sr. • 6-3 • 225 Gilmer, Texas/Gilmer (Texas Tech) 2018 Academic All-Big 12 2018 (Junior at Texas Tech): Played in five games with two starts at quarterback … named Academic All-Big 12 (11/15) … went 28-for51 passing for 318 yards and two touchdowns on the season … started the season opener against Ole Miss (9/1) and completed four passes for 49 yards before leaving due to injury … returned to the field at TCU (10/11) and went 2-for-3 in a series off the bench … also appeared in relief versus Texas (11/10) and at Kansas State (11/17) … earned the start in season finale against Baylor (11/24) and went 21-for-37 for 247 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. 2017 (Sophomore at Texas Tech): Appeared in four games with one start at quarterback … ended the year 23-of-46 overall for 359 yards and two touchdowns passes … made Texas Tech debut in season opener against Eastern Washington (9/2), completing all three passes for 49 yards and a touchdown … posted another 3-for-3 passing performance at Kansas (10/7), totaling 57 yards through the air and a touchdown … came on late versus TCU (11/18) and passed for 16 yards … earned his first career start to close the regular season in win over Texas (11/24) … finished 16-of-37 for 237 yards while also rushing nine times in the come-from-behind victory. 2016 (Freshman at Tyler JC): Threw for 3,226 yards and 30 touchdowns in just nine games … recorded at least 300 yards in seven-straight games at one point during the season … breakout game came against Navarro, throwing for 578 yards on 39 completions with six touchdowns … earned Conference MVP and Offensive MVP honors … consensus three-star prospect via Rivals, 247Sports, Scout and ESPN … tabbed as the No. 6 JUCO pro-style quarterback in the nation, according to 247Sports. Prior to College: Attended Gilmer High School in Gilmer, Texas … completed 220-of-297 attempts (74 percent) for 3,969 yards with 47 touchdowns and only two interceptions despite sitting sizable portions of the second half in blowouts as a senior … led the Buckeyes to a 16-0 record in 2014, culminating in the Class 4A Division II State Championship. Personal: Earned undergraduate degree in university studies from Texas Tech … enrolled in the labor studies and employment relations master’s program at Rutgers.
#30 CHRIS CONTI LB • Fr. • 6-2 • 220 Wyckoff, N.J./DePaul Catholic Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach John McKenna at DePaul Catholic … guided the Spartans to a 7-5 record as a senior … posted 111 tackles, including 86 solo stops … added an interception, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery … advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 NJSIAA Non-Public Group 3 Playoffs … Second Team All-Non Public selection on defense … rated No. 23 prospect in New Jersey by Rivals.com and 43rd by 247Sports.com … as a junior, posted 56 total tackles and two sacks … helped team win the NJSIAA Non-Public Group 3 title in 2017.
#60 OMARI COOPER OL • Jr. • 6-4 • 285 San Diego, Calif./University City (San Diego Mesa CC) Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach Gary Watkins at San Diego Mesa CC … played for head coach Ryan Price at University City … selected to 2018 Southern California Football Association First Team All-Conference … played offensive tackle for University City as a high school senior, guiding the program to a 5-2 record. Personal: A labor studies and employment relations major.
#36 DARIUS GOODEN DB • Fr. • 6-2 • 195 Newark, N.J./West Side Prior to Rutgers: Played at West Side for head coach Marion Bell … played cornerback and wide receiver for the Rough Riders … named First Team All-Group I on defense by NJ.com as a senior … was a First Team All-Conference pick on defense in 2018 … selected honorable mention on defense as a junior … rated No. 41 prospect in New Jersey according to 247Sports.com … also competed on the track and field team.
#59 CJ HANSON OL • Fr. • 6-5 • 295 Jackson, N.J./St. John Vianney Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach Joe Martucci at St. John Vianney … played along the offensive and defensive lines … posted 42 tackles (three for loss) and four sacks on defense … qualified for the 2018 NJSIAA Non-Public, Group 3 Playoffs … named Third Team All-State on offense by NJ.com as a senior … was a Second Team All-Shore selection on offense by NJ.com … Second Team All-Non Public selection on offense … as a junior, on an offensive line that produced 3,354 rushing yards, 45 rushing touchdowns, 1,175 passing yards and 15 passing touchdowns … rated the No. 33 ranked prospect in New Jersey by 247Sports.com … named to the 2018 Jersey Sports Zone All-Zone Team … also played goalie on the lacrosse team … teammates with current Scarlet Knights Micah Clark and Jamaal Beaty at St. John Vianney.
#86 COOPER HEISEY TE • Fr. • 6-4 • 235 Scotch Plains, N.J./ Scotch Plains-Fanwood (Wyoming Seminary Prep) Prior to Rutgers: Spent one season at Wyoming Seminary Prep in Pennsylvania … led the team to a 5-3 record, throwing for 15 touchdowns … played for head coach Mark Ciccotelli at Scotch Plains … threw for 5,402 yards and 46 touchdowns during high school career … named First Team All-Area and honorable mention All-State by News12 … earned Second Team All-Group 4 honors by NJ.com … also played basketball and lacrosse in high school.
#80 MONTERIO HUNT WR • Jr. • 6-1 • 195 Walnut, Miss./Walnut (Northwest Mississippi CC/Marshall) 2018 (Sophomore at Northwest Mississippi CC): Totaled 41 receptions for 405 yards and three touchdowns … had a season-high 89 receiving yards against East Central (8/30). 2017 (Freshman at Marshall): Appeared in 12 games, primarily on special teams … credited with seven receiving yards on a lateral play versus FIU (10/28). Prior to College: Rated the 15th-best prospect in the state of Mississippi … also lined up at running back, defensive back, linebacker and punter at Walnut … caught 25 passes for 673 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior to go with 1,140 rushing yards and 12 more scores on the ground … had 45 tackles and three interceptions on defense with a kickoff and punt return touchdown … named first-team all-state … three-star prospect according to Rivals.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … also played basketball and completed on the track & field team.
#10 ZUKUDO IGWENAGU LB • Fr. • 6-4 • 220 Worcester, Mass./ Worcester Academy Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach Tony Johnson at Worcester Academy … top-rated prospect in Massachusetts by Rivals.com and ranked second in the state by 247Sports.com … played safety and wide receiver … had a fumble recovery and caught seven passes for 200 yards in win over Phillips Exeter Academy. Personal: Name pronounced ze-ku-doo e-gwan-a-goo.
#88 STANLEY KING WR • Fr. • 6-4 • 190 Camden, N.J./Woodrow Wilson Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach Preston Brown at Woodrow Wilson … played wide receiver and defensive back in high school … caught 79 receptions for a state-high 1,413 yards … scored 15 touchdowns as a senior … advanced to the finals of the NJSIAA South Group 3 game … had six games of 100-plus yards, including 233 and three touchdowns against Camden Catholic and a career-high 253 with three scores in a win over Seneca … First Team All-State selection on offense by NJ.com … named First Team All-South Jersey on offense by the Courier Post … selected to the USA Today Network 2018 All-New Jersey offensive team … First Team West Jersey Football League Constitution Division All-Star (coaches) on offense … First Team All-Group 3 selection … caught 26 passes for 412 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior … Under Armour All-American selection … rated 18th-best prospect in New Jersey by Rivals.com and No. 19 by 247Sports.com.
#17 JOHNNY LANGAN QB • R-Fr. • 6-3 • 232 Wayne, N.J./Bergen Catholic (Boston College) 2018 (Freshman at Boston College): Did not see game action … redshirted. Prior to College: Played for head coach Nunzio Campanile at Bergen Catholic … named the 2017 New Jersey Player of the Year by News12 after leading the Crusaders to their first Non-Public, Group 4 state championship since 2004 … passed for 2,103 yards and 23 touchdowns to go along with 825 yards rushing and 12 rushing touchdowns … finished career with 4,789 yards passing, 1,452 yards rushing and a combined 69 touchdowns … rated as the No. 22 prospect in New Jersey and the No. 30 pro-style quarterback nationally by Rivals.com … listed as the Garden State’s 33rd-best player and the nation’s 45th-best dual-style quarterback according to 247Sports.com … rated the No. 26 dual-threat quarterback in the nation and New Jersey’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback by ESPN Recruiting … as a junior, threw for 1,998 yards and 19 touchdowns to help lead BC to the state semifinals … served as team captain.
#79 ANTON OSKARSSON OL • Fr. • 6-5 • 270 Kumla, Sweden/ Rig Academy Uppsala Prior to Rutgers: Rated the best prospect from Sweden of the 2019 class … played in the Under 19 championship game with the Orebro Black Knights … joins Sam Vretman and Robin Jutwreten as Swedish natives on the Scarlet Knights’ roster.
#49 KYLE PENNISTON TE • 5th-Sr. • 6-4 • 243 Orange, Calif./Mater Dei (Wisconsin) 2018 (Redshirt Junior at Wisconsin): Played in all 13 games with 10 starts at tight end … totaled three receptions for 18 yards and one touchdown on the season … recorded an 11-yard touchdown reception against Illinois (10/20). 2017 (Redshirt Sophomore at Wisconsin): Played all 14 games with eight starts at tight end … picked up seven catches for 56 yards with a touchdown … caught two passes for 16 yards and a touchdown at Minnesota (11/25) … had two catches for 12 yards versus Indiana (11/4) … caught a 14-yard pass versus Northwestern (9/30). 2016 (Redshirt Freshman at Wisconsin): Played in 12 games with three starts at tight end … finished the season with six receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns … had a six-yard reception versus Penn State (12/3) in the Big Ten Football Championship Game … picked up a seven-yard touchdown against Illinois (11/12) … hauled in a 54-yard pass at Iowa (10/22) … scored a go-ahead receiving touchdown to cap a three-catch game versus Georgia Tech (9/17) … made collegiate debut in Lambeau Field College Classic against LSU (9/3). 2015 (Freshman at Wisconsin): Did not see game action … redshirted. Prior to College: Played for head coach Bruce Rollison at Mater Dei … caught 31 passes for 419 yards and two touchdowns as a senior … made 11 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown as a junior … a four-star recruit by 247 Sports, ESPN.com and Rivals … ranked as No. 6 tight end in nation by Rivals and No. 10 by ESPN.com … selected to 2015 Under Armour All-America Game. Personal: Father, Scott, played college football at California Lutheran … earned undergraduate economics degree from Wisconsin … enrolled in the global sports business master’s program at Rutgers.
#37 TJ ROBINSON DB • Fr. • 6-3 • 185 Riverview, Fla./Riverview Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach William Mosel at Riverview … played wide receiver and defensive back for the Sharks during his high school career … caught 36 passes for 410 yards and four touchdowns … added eight carries for 51 yards as a senior … had 62 tackles, including 29 solo stops on defense as a junior … ended career with seven interceptions and 103 total tackles.
#11 DREW SINGLETON LB • So. • 6-2 • 233 Union City, N.J./Paramus Catholic (Michigan) 2018 (Redshirt Freshman at Michigan): Played in seven games … made collegiate debut playing special teams against Notre Dame (9/1) … also contributed on special teams against WMU (9/8), SMU (9/15), Northwestern (9/29), Maryland (10/6) and Wisconsin (10/13) … returned a squib kickoff attempt five yards against SMU (9/15) … played reserve linebacker and contributed on special teams against Nebraska (9/22). 2017 (Freshman at Michigan): Did not see game action … redshirted. Prior to College: Played under head coach Dan Sabella at Paramus Catholic … helped lead Paramus Catholic to the NJSIAA Non-Public Group 4 state championship … recorded 12 tackles and forced a fumble in one game played during senior season … amassed 64 stops, 12 tackles-for-loss, 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and three interceptions as a junior … recorded 57 tackles, seven tackles-for-loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two interceptions as a sophomore … returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown … selected to the 2017 Under Armour All-American Game … 247Sports.com four-star prospect, rated as the No. 80 overall player nationally and as the No. 1 prospect in New Jersey … Rivals.com fourstar recruit, rated as the No. 52 player in the country and as the No. 4-rated outside linebacker prospect … ESPN four-star recruit, ranked No. 158 overall and No. 4 at inside linebacker … PrepStar four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 63 player nationally … member of the PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team and First Team All-Metro … attended the 2016 The Opening in Beaverton, Oregon … selected Second Team USA Today All-USA New Jersey and named to NJ.com’s All Non-Public All-State first team as a junior … member of the MaxPreps 2013 Football Freshman All-American Second Team … teammates with current Scarlet Knight Jarrett Paul in high school. Personal: A supply chain and marketing science major.
#16 COLE SNYDER QB • Fr. • 6-1 • 202 Lakewood, N.Y./Southwestern Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach Jehuu Caulcrick at Southwestern … helped guide the Trojans to a 9-1 record as a senior … completed 140-of-222 passes for 2,069 yards and 37 touchdowns … named the Class C South Player of the Year … First Team All-USA New York by USA Today … a top10 finalist for the 2018 Connelly Cup … named Small Schools Offensive Player of the Year by WNY Athletics … also competed on the baseball and hockey teams in high school … threw for 18 touchdowns in 2017 … two-time All-Western New York First Team honoree … selected First-Team All-State Class C by New York State Sportswriters Association … rated No. 5 prospect in New York by Rivals.com and 10th by 247Sports.com. Personal: A pre business major.
#58 MOHAMED TOURE LB • Fr. • 6-1 • 220 Pleasantville, N.J./Pleasantville Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach Chris Sacco at Pleasantville … helped guide the Greyhounds to an 8-3 record as a senior … was a running back and linebacker at Pleasantville … recorded 69 tackles, including 10 for loss with five sacks … rushed for 981 yards and 11 touchdowns … named First Team All-South Jersey on defense by the Philadelphia Inquirer … Third Team All-State selection on defense by NJ.com … Second Team All-USA New Jersey by USA Today … selected to the USA Today Network 2018 All-New Jersey defensive team … First Team All-Group 2 selection on defense … First Team West Jersey Football League United Division All-Star (coaches) … named to the 2018 Jersey Sports Zone All-Zone Team … posted 93 tackles and four sacks in 2017 … added 909 rushing yards and 10 total touchdowns … rated No. 29 prospect in New Jersey by NJ.com … cousin of former Scarlet Knight and current member of the Indianapolis Colts, Kemoko Turay.
#83 ISAIAH WASHINGTON WR • Fr. • 6-3 • 198 Jacksonville, Fla./ Trinity Christian Academy Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach Verlon Dorminey at Trinity Christian … caught 46 passes for 924 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns during senior season … had 2,145 all-purpose yards during high school career … caught two touchdowns in the District 4-5A Championship game to lead Trinity Christian to a perfect 9-0 record … had 54 catches for 957 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior … a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com, Rivals.com and ESPN.
#23 DONALD WILLIAMS DB • Fr. • 6-1 • 180 Camden, N.J./Camden Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach Dwayne Savage at Camden … guided the Panthers to a 10-2 season as a senior … advanced to the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 2 finals … led the secondary with 83 tackles and forced three fumbles … First Team All-State selection on defense by NJ.com … named first team All-South Jersey on defense by the Philadelphia Inquirer … selected to the USA Today Network 2018 All-New Jersey defensive team … First Team West Jersey Football League Constitution Division All-Star (coaches) on defense … named to the 2018 Jersey Sports Zone All-Zone Team … helped Camden to an 8-2 record in 2017 … amassed 46 tackles and 12 pass breakups … rated the 18th-best recruit in New Jersey by 247Sports.com and No. 20 by Rivals.com.
#4 AARON YOUNG RB • Fr. • 5-10 • 195 Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville Area Prior to Rutgers: Played for head coach Matt Ortega at Coatesville … rushed for 1,641 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior … ran for 227 yards and three touchdowns against Garnet Valley … had 16 receptions for 316 yards and four touchdowns on the season … had 28 tackles and an interception on defense … as a junior, ran for 1,687 yards and 31 touchdowns … also caught 23 passes for 238 yards and four touchdowns … also competed on the track & field and basketball teams at Coatesville … rated the No. 11 recruit in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com and 12th-best player by 247Sports.com. Personal: Younger brother of current Scarlet Knight defensive back Avery Young.
2018 TEAM STATS
TURNOVER MARGIN: -14
2018 INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
PASSING: Artur Sitkowski, 134 – 273 – 1,158 – 4TD – 18INT
RUSHING: Raheem Blackshear, 143 – 586 – 4.1 – 3TD
RECEIVING :Raheem Blackshear, 44 – 367 – 8.3 – 2TD
TACKLES: Trevor Morris, 109
SACKS: Elorm Lumor, 4.0… Mike Tverdov, 4.0
INTERCEPTIONS: Saquan Hampton, 3
ADVANCED STATS/NATIONAL RANKING
ADJUSTED TURNOVER MARGIN
NUMBERS TO KNOW:
20.8…. Rutgers’ offensive success rate was just 28.8%, worst in college football
-10.1… Based on national averages for fumble recovery rates and the ratio of interceptions to pass is broken up, Rutgers’ turnover margin should have been -3.9. Instead it was -14. That turnover difference was the third – most unlucky in the country
55.6… Rutgers’ Pass Defense was solid allowing a completion rate of just 55.6%, 29th in the country
WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING ABOUT RUTGERS
Rutgers played well down the stretch last season, but they didn’t have the personnel to sustain that success. Their defense gave them a chance here and there, but the offense couldn’t score. Offensively, they can be creative and they try to manufacture yards the best they can. The freshman quarterback through a lot of interceptions, but he does have raw arm talent. You can live with the mistakes now, because if and when it does click for him, he could change a lot for Rutgers. They have athletes on the outside, they just can’t seem to get them the football. The O-line doesn’t look or execute like a Big 10 line. They must get fundamentally better if they’re going to have any kind of shot. On defense Dave been decent in spots but wear down because of depth. This is not the Ray Rice Rutgers where there would be a wild crowd and the team played physical football. They been recruiting more against MAC schools than anyone else in the conference. Right now they’re struggling to shake their losing culture. They aren’t in most of the battles even in their own backyard.
NATIONAL FORECAST: 107
BIG 10 EAST PROJECTION: 7
PROJECTED RECORD: 2 – 10: 0 – 9 Big Ten