About Rutgers

rutgersal

Rookie
Jun 7, 2001
38
126
33
After spending the last 8 years in the College Football abyss, Rutgers is 3-0. Our players, pass the eye test, thanks to Strength and Conditioning Coach, Jay Butler, who is worth every penny we're paying him. After three years of hard work, the team looks finally competitive, from a Strength and Conditioning perspective. Three weeks ago, we beat Boston College, because we were stronger and better conditioned. This was best illustrated on our game winning 96 yard drive, where we ran the ball 11 times, and there was nothing BC could do about it. Last Saturday, we had a 7 minute drive in the fourth quarter, and that was key to our ability to hold onto victory. Program wise, we're in year 3 of what is expected to be a 5 year building program. The talent has been significantly improved across the board, but we're not quite where we want to be, as we're not as deep as we'd like to be, especially at quarterback. We are offensively challenged, but do have a tough defense. We are going to try to run the ball, stop the run, and play tough defense.

It all starts up front with the biggest, strongest, and most athletic Offensive Linemen we've ever fielded, courtesy of the portal. They have proven to be adept at run blocking, but have struggled at times with pass protection. Once they make contact, they have been able to eliminate the defender, but defenders have eluded them at times.
These guys are not only big, but they are agile, NASTY, and they can run. Our Guards, in particular, are much bigger than those who previously played the position.

LT Willie Tyler 6-5 320 lbs
LG JD Direnzo 6-6 315 lbs
C Ireland Brown 6-4 300 lbs
RG Curtis Dunlap 6-4 335 lbs
RT Hollin Pierce 6-7 330 lbs

Overall, the OL is averaging 6-5 320 lbs. Of particular note, Willie Tyler started his football career at Texas. JD Direnzo was an All American at Sacred Heart. Ireland Brown transferred in from Boston College, and was solid playing Guard last year. Curtis Dunlap played extensively at Minnesota, before injuries derailed his career there, and he transferred to Rutgers. Hollin Pierce was a walk on from Trenton, a couple of years ago. He lost 70 lbs, and has subsequently earned a spot in the Rutgers OL starting lineup, and is now at a trim 330lbs. I believe that offensive line performance will determine the outcome of our games, so these guys will be key for us.

Rutgers rushing attack is spearheaded by Kyle Monangai, small, powerful back, who played at Don Bosco in Ramsey, NJ, during high school. Monagai is especially adept at running between the tackles, demonstrating exceptional vision, and taking what the defense gives him. Kyle reminds me of Ray Rice, and he should have a decent chance of getting drafted, if he can stay healthy, which was a challenge for him last year. Al Shadee Salaam is our 2nd String back, and he has demonstrated tremendous vision and burst, especially on his 28 yard TD run which beat Boston College. As long as he can stay healthy, and get better every year, he'll be playing in the NFL. Kyle also figures to be complemented by Freshman Sam Brown, a big, powerful back, who has the potential to be the best to ever wear Scarlet. Sam Brown is our third back and goes roughly 6-1 220 lbs, and has that extra gear to take the ball to the house. Sam could be the next Johnathan Taylor, and I expect him to have an especially productive career at Rutgers. He has excellent burst, runs through tackles, gets yards after contact, and has a tremendous stiff arm. Guys like this don't usually come to Rutgers. They usually wind up at Alabama or Georgia. IF he can stay healthy, he'll be here three years tops, then move on to the NFL.

Our Quarterbacks have been Gavin Wimsatt and Evan Simon. Their passing numbers have been somewhat pedestrian, as we have been mauling teams on the ground. Through three games, Evan Simon has completed 27-40 passes for 266 yards, which works out to a 67.5% clip. Gavin Wimsatt is completing 43.5% of his passes, but has better wheels. I expect both to play Saturday, though Wimsatt was injured at Temple, and may not be available. Our usual starter, Noah Vedral, is expected to be out with a hand injury, though we all hope he will return soon.
He hasn't played yet this year.

Thanks to transfers, Rutgers has a deep WR corp. Rutgers WR Corp is led by Aron Cruickshank, a 5-10 sparkplug who was one of the top kickoff returners in the country, having been First Team All Big Ten, in 2020. He hasn't been returning kicks recently, to reduce the chance of injury. Joshua Youngblood is particularly fast, so looking forward to seeing what he can do Saturday. Shameen Jones, Isaiah Washington, Chris Long, Sean Ryan, and Rashad Rochelle should also see extensive action.

Rutgers tight ends are led by Senior Jonny Langan, who previously played quarterback at Boston College, and sometimes goes behind Center to mostly run the ball. I like to refer to him as our offensive swiss army knife. He does whatever he's asked to bring home the 'W'. I wouldn't be surprised if he runs the ball extensively in the 2nd half, Saturday, just as he did against Temple and Boston College. For his career, Johnny surprisingly has >800 rushing yards. Love Johnny, and he just might be the toughest player on the team. Matt Alaimo is the other tight end, who is solid. Victor Konopka has the highest ceiling of the tight ends, and at 6-7, he is also the biggest. He broke out in the Gator Bowl with 4 catches for 52 yards, and if he continues to get better, he should have an NFL opportunity.

For too long, Rutgers defense looked like it was playing on roller skates, but that thankfully hasn't been the case since Schiano has returned. There have been times where the defense tired out, because the offense did nothing. It's the Big Ten. You leave the defense out there for an extended period of time, it's going to tire out eventually. But with a much improved offense, I don't think that will be the case.

Rutgers Defense is led by DL Aaron Lewis who has gotten better every year, and has the potential to be a double digit sack performer. I went up to him and told him to his face, that he had an NFL future, as long as he worked hard to be the best player he could be. He had a monster game against Temple, notching 11 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. I like to think that he took my advice :). As long as he can stay healthy, he should have a very productive year. Lewis is complemented on the other side by Wesley Bailey, who hails from Canada, and is seeing action due to a season ending injury to mohamed toure, who would have started. Excited about the Defensive Tackles, Ifeanyi Maijeh, Mayan Ahonatu, Kyonte Hamilton, and Troy Rainey. Maijeh is especially tough against the run. Hamilton is a budding star. All will rotate extensively, to keep themselves fresh. The Defensive Line is probably the deepest, most talented unit on the team, which is why we are much improved.

The Rutgers Linebacking Corp was hit by graduation and injuries, so we will probably only be playing two, though they are good ones. Deion Jennings will be starting extensively for the first time. He has terrific instincts and a good nose for the ball. He is complemented by Tyreem Powell, who will be a star one day. Unfortunately, Linebacker is our thinnest position, and we'll be crossing our fingers that we can avoid injuries. Austin Dean, Anthony Johnson, and some of the other walkons will probably play if injuries mount. Murphys law always seem to happen to Rutgers, so sadly, we have to be prepared for that possibility.

Rutgers Defensive Back Group is deep, and we will likely be playing 5 defensive backs. The group is led by seniors Christian Izien and Avery Young, both safeties with NFL potential. Izien in particular, is a heavy hitter, and has been playing like a linebacker, close to the line. Max Melton is the stud of the group, and possible All American, and will likely be matched up against your best receiver. His technique and cover skills are outstanding. The other Corner figures to be Kessawn Abraham, who was the Defensive MVP last year. Desmond Igbinosun will be the Rover and will play in the box, at times, and is a heavy hitter. Robert Longerbeam has provided blanket coverage, and leads the team in interceptions with 2.

As far as Special Teams go, we've got perhaps the best punter in the nation, and a new kicker. Cruickshank is an especially adept returner. Our kicker is a newcomer, Jude McAtamney. Korsaks penchant for pinning opponents deep, flipping field position, will be especially valuable, given our improvements on offense and defense.

Previously, we could not always capitalize on his stellar punting because the defense At times struggled to contain opponents. With better talent and more depth, the defense should be better at containing opponents when Korsak pins them deep and the offense will be better at capitalizing on opportunities when presented with good field position thanks to our improvements in running and passing the ball.

For the last 8 years, we've been knashing our teeth in college football's abyss. That changes this year. We are going to compete, and give everyone a good game. May the best team win Saturday.
 

Packer54

HR All-American
Mar 30, 2014
3,049
2,615
113
You lost me when you basically said your offense wasn’t great and then went on a roll touting your offense.
stick to talking about your defense and if they can’t beat our offense find a hobby on Saturday.
You will need a ST or defensive score to control the game. Otherwise this feels like a 14-10 game.
 

MeetTheFerentzes

HR All-State
Silver Member
Sep 6, 2022
888
2,250
93
Neither offense will score a TD unless given incredible field position by their respective defenses/punter. The difference will be that the Rutgers offense will at least try, but Iowa won't - they'll be satisfied to play in a phone booth and have the punter flip the field. The game will be decided by whether the Rutgers offense's efforts actually get them into field goal range more often than Iowa, or if it results in turnovers and short fields for Iowa as indicated above. The announcers will have to keep the viewers entertained with talk about Big Ten and CFP expansion, and will gush over both coaching staffs (the BTN announcers were obviously instructed to talk up our OC and QB during our last game).

Iowa 9 Rutgers 6
 

desihawk

HR Heisman
Oct 1, 2002
8,857
8,460
113
thanks rutgersal. if your post was meant to inform, it did. if it was meant to intimidate, it did even better.
that ol looks like wisconsin's daddy and promises to be a pia late in the 4th quarter if iowa's clinging to a 2 point lead. but most of all we fear your punter.
 

prntennis

HR MVP
Gold Member
Sep 2, 2003
2,144
590
113
DBQ
after reading that & all about future NFL;s. I guess we should just concede the game & stay home!! LOL about article
 

JerseyCityHawki

HR All-American
Oct 28, 2019
3,629
3,957
113
50
Hackensack, New Jersey
After spending the last 8 years in the College Football abyss, Rutgers is 3-0. Our players, pass the eye test, thanks to Strength and Conditioning Coach, Jay Butler, who is worth every penny we're paying him. After three years of hard work, the team looks finally competitive, from a Strength and Conditioning perspective. Three weeks ago, we beat Boston College, because we were stronger and better conditioned. This was best illustrated on our game winning 96 yard drive, where we ran the ball 11 times, and there was nothing BC could do about it. Last Saturday, we had a 7 minute drive in the fourth quarter, and that was key to our ability to hold onto victory. Program wise, we're in year 3 of what is expected to be a 5 year building program. The talent has been significantly improved across the board, but we're not quite where we want to be, as we're not as deep as we'd like to be, especially at quarterback. We are offensively challenged, but do have a tough defense. We are going to try to run the ball, stop the run, and play tough defense.

It all starts up front with the biggest, strongest, and most athletic Offensive Linemen we've ever fielded, courtesy of the portal. They have proven to be adept at run blocking, but have struggled at times with pass protection. Once they make contact, they have been able to eliminate the defender, but defenders have eluded them at times.
These guys are not only big, but they are agile, NASTY, and they can run. Our Guards, in particular, are much bigger than those who previously played the position.

LT Willie Tyler 6-5 320 lbs
LG JD Direnzo 6-6 315 lbs
C Ireland Brown 6-4 300 lbs
RG Curtis Dunlap 6-4 335 lbs
RT Hollin Pierce 6-7 330 lbs

Overall, the OL is averaging 6-5 320 lbs. Of particular note, Willie Tyler started his football career at Texas. JD Direnzo was an All American at Sacred Heart. Ireland Brown transferred in from Boston College, and was solid playing Guard last year. Curtis Dunlap played extensively at Minnesota, before injuries derailed his career there, and he transferred to Rutgers. Hollin Pierce was a walk on from Trenton, a couple of years ago. He lost 70 lbs, and has subsequently earned a spot in the Rutgers OL starting lineup, and is now at a trim 330lbs. I believe that offensive line performance will determine the outcome of our games, so these guys will be key for us.

Rutgers rushing attack is spearheaded by Kyle Monangai, small, powerful back, who played at Don Bosco in Ramsey, NJ, during high school. Monagai is especially adept at running between the tackles, demonstrating exceptional vision, and taking what the defense gives him. Kyle reminds me of Ray Rice, and he should have a decent chance of getting drafted, if he can stay healthy, which was a challenge for him last year. Al Shadee Salaam is our 2nd String back, and he has demonstrated tremendous vision and burst, especially on his 28 yard TD run which beat Boston College. As long as he can stay healthy, and get better every year, he'll be playing in the NFL. Kyle also figures to be complemented by Freshman Sam Brown, a big, powerful back, who has the potential to be the best to ever wear Scarlet. Sam Brown is our third back and goes roughly 6-1 220 lbs, and has that extra gear to take the ball to the house. Sam could be the next Johnathan Taylor, and I expect him to have an especially productive career at Rutgers. He has excellent burst, runs through tackles, gets yards after contact, and has a tremendous stiff arm. Guys like this don't usually come to Rutgers. They usually wind up at Alabama or Georgia. IF he can stay healthy, he'll be here three years tops, then move on to the NFL.

Our Quarterbacks have been Gavin Wimsatt and Evan Simon. Their passing numbers have been somewhat pedestrian, as we have been mauling teams on the ground. Through three games, Evan Simon has completed 27-40 passes for 266 yards, which works out to a 67.5% clip. Gavin Wimsatt is completing 43.5% of his passes, but has better wheels. I expect both to play Saturday, though Wimsatt was injured at Temple, and may not be available. Our usual starter, Noah Vedral, is expected to be out with a hand injury, though we all hope he will return soon.
He hasn't played yet this year.

Thanks to transfers, Rutgers has a deep WR corp. Rutgers WR Corp is led by Aron Cruickshank, a 5-10 sparkplug who was one of the top kickoff returners in the country, having been First Team All Big Ten, in 2020. He hasn't been returning kicks recently, to reduce the chance of injury. Joshua Youngblood is particularly fast, so looking forward to seeing what he can do Saturday. Shameen Jones, Isaiah Washington, Chris Long, Sean Ryan, and Rashad Rochelle should also see extensive action.

Rutgers tight ends are led by Senior Jonny Langan, who previously played quarterback at Boston College, and sometimes goes behind Center to mostly run the ball. I like to refer to him as our offensive swiss army knife. He does whatever he's asked to bring home the 'W'. I wouldn't be surprised if he runs the ball extensively in the 2nd half, Saturday, just as he did against Temple and Boston College. For his career, Johnny surprisingly has >800 rushing yards. Love Johnny, and he just might be the toughest player on the team. Matt Alaimo is the other tight end, who is solid. Victor Konopka has the highest ceiling of the tight ends, and at 6-7, he is also the biggest. He broke out in the Gator Bowl with 4 catches for 52 yards, and if he continues to get better, he should have an NFL opportunity.

For too long, Rutgers defense looked like it was playing on roller skates, but that thankfully hasn't been the case since Schiano has returned. There have been times where the defense tired out, because the offense did nothing. It's the Big Ten. You leave the defense out there for an extended period of time, it's going to tire out eventually. But with a much improved offense, I don't think that will be the case.

Rutgers Defense is led by DL Aaron Lewis who has gotten better every year, and has the potential to be a double digit sack performer. I went up to him and told him to his face, that he had an NFL future, as long as he worked hard to be the best player he could be. He had a monster game against Temple, notching 11 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. I like to think that he took my advice :). As long as he can stay healthy, he should have a very productive year. Lewis is complemented on the other side by Wesley Bailey, who hails from Canada, and is seeing action due to a season ending injury to mohamed toure, who would have started. Excited about the Defensive Tackles, Ifeanyi Maijeh, Mayan Ahonatu, Kyonte Hamilton, and Troy Rainey. Maijeh is especially tough against the run. Hamilton is a budding star. All will rotate extensively, to keep themselves fresh. The Defensive Line is probably the deepest, most talented unit on the team, which is why we are much improved.

The Rutgers Linebacking Corp was hit by graduation and injuries, so we will probably only be playing two, though they are good ones. Deion Jennings will be starting extensively for the first time. He has terrific instincts and a good nose for the ball. He is complemented by Tyreem Powell, who will be a star one day. Unfortunately, Linebacker is our thinnest position, and we'll be crossing our fingers that we can avoid injuries. Austin Dean, Anthony Johnson, and some of the other walkons will probably play if injuries mount. Murphys law always seem to happen to Rutgers, so sadly, we have to be prepared for that possibility.

Rutgers Defensive Back Group is deep, and we will likely be playing 5 defensive backs. The group is led by seniors Christian Izien and Avery Young, both safeties with NFL potential. Izien in particular, is a heavy hitter, and has been playing like a linebacker, close to the line. Max Melton is the stud of the group, and possible All American, and will likely be matched up against your best receiver. His technique and cover skills are outstanding. The other Corner figures to be Kessawn Abraham, who was the Defensive MVP last year. Desmond Igbinosun will be the Rover and will play in the box, at times, and is a heavy hitter. Robert Longerbeam has provided blanket coverage, and leads the team in interceptions with 2.

As far as Special Teams go, we've got perhaps the best punter in the nation, and a new kicker. Cruickshank is an especially adept returner. Our kicker is a newcomer, Jude McAtamney. Korsaks penchant for pinning opponents deep, flipping field position, will be especially valuable, given our improvements on offense and defense.

Previously, we could not always capitalize on his stellar punting because the defense At times struggled to contain opponents. With better talent and more depth, the defense should be better at containing opponents when Korsak pins them deep and the offense will be better at capitalizing on opportunities when presented with good field position thanks to our improvements in running and passing the ball.

For the last 8 years, we've been knashing our teeth in college football's abyss. That changes this year. We are going to compete, and give everyone a good game. May the best team win Saturday.
Well said my New Jersian brother
 
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HawkDoggy

All-Conference
Nov 20, 2021
451
757
93
That's a lot of detail there in the original post....thanks for the information and the effort. It does seem that your team has improved. I expect a hard fought game.

I'll take some heat off you....and we'll let some of these buttholes take shots at me now. If anyone on this board thinks that Ferentz won't have this team improved some more and ready to go on the road and win....you're crazy. I suspect the Hawks win this one 17-3 or 17-6...something in that realm. They will improve another solid level this week, particularly on the O Line....and they'll be set up to compete the following week at home against Michigan. That will be the typical doom and gloom week of us having no chance...we're going to get manhandled....won't be able to gain a first down....probably lose 34-0, etc., etc. That won't be the case....Iowa will have a chance to win that game at home against Michigan.
 

HawkRCID

HR All-American
Nov 7, 2018
4,865
9,380
113
That's a lot of detail there in the original post....thanks for the information and the effort. It does seem that your team has improved. I expect a hard fought game.

I'll take some heat off you....and we'll let some of these buttholes take shots at me now. If anyone on this board thinks that Ferentz won't have this team improved some more and ready to go on the road and win....you're crazy. I suspect the Hawks win this one 17-3 or 17-6...something in that realm. They will improve another solid level this week, particularly on the O Line....and they'll be set up to compete the following week at home against Michigan. That will be the typical doom and gloom week of us having no chance...we're going to get manhandled....won't be able to gain a first down....probably lose 34-0, etc., etc. That won't be the case....Iowa will have a chance to win that game at home against Michigan.
I mean I learned my lesson in 2016 about completely writing us off against Michigan….but….if we are in that game at the end…I will be just as surprised and delighted as I was then.
 
Feb 9, 2021
1
5
3
RutgersAL is known from most on our board as super positive which I guess is good considering Rutgers football gives you a ton to be negative about. I suspect to see his weekly “I’m putting Iowa on upset alert” post on our board in the next few days.
With that being said let me give you guys some clarification on some of the things RutgersAL said. Yes, he basically said our whole team has NFL potential. He’s not completely wrong saying that, but I will say most of our players are fringe players who may get drafted late or not at all and sign to a teams practice squad. What he said about the running back room I can’t disagree with more, while they are all solid comparing Monangai to Ray Rice is comical. By this time in Rices career he was putting up 2000 yards rushing. Also I’ll pump the breaks on saying Sam Brown will be the best to ever wear Scarlet, we just haven’t seen enough of him. Our OL is big and more talented but not used to playing together. They have struggled in the passing game, especially LT Willie Tyler. Defensively we have been pretty impressive, and yes there are some “potential” NFL prospects along the DL. Aside from maybe Max Melton the DBs are talented but undersized which will limit their NFL potential. He’s completely right about our LBs and Tyreem Powell has the potential to be our most complete defensive player. Our defense will hold its own against anyone not named Ohio State and maybe Penn State. Our offense on the other hand, is a work in progress to say the least. I really think both teams struggle to score Saturday but Iowa is just better than RU at this point in our rebuild.
I expect a score of something like Iowa 17- RU 3. Good luck this season and looking forward to seeing you guys on the hardwood.
 

Beattheohiostate

Team MVP
Aug 5, 2022
266
937
93
phoenix, AZ
After spending the last 8 years in the College Football abyss, Rutgers is 3-0. Our players, pass the eye test, thanks to Strength and Conditioning Coach, Jay Butler, who is worth every penny we're paying him. After three years of hard work, the team looks finally competitive, from a Strength and Conditioning perspective. Three weeks ago, we beat Boston College, because we were stronger and better conditioned.
Thanks for the exhaustive and intimidating analysis. The size of the Rutgers OL is Wisconsin-like, and if they can move as you say, it doesn't bode well for what little offense Iowa will attempt.

It's good that Rutgers is well coached and on the upswing, and it's interesting that Rutgers--unlike Iowa--has dipped into the portal and taken transfers to enhance its roster.

Everyone believes Saturday night's game will be a bruising defensive test, and everything you've written would support that supposition. It certainly seems like it needs to be if Iowa wants to be competitive.

At any rate, thanks again for the report, and after Saturday, I hope Rutgers wins 'em all.
 

nu2u

HR Legend
Aug 10, 2006
15,257
17,388
113
Everybody is talkiing about the punters in this match-up. Both are excellent veterans

Assuming a defensive battle, IMO the more important specialists on Saturday will be the FG Kickers. Two inexperienced newcomers.

Rutgers: Jude McAtamney (Junior) 5-7, 71.4%, long = 49 yards. 11/12 PAT
Iowa: Drew Stevens (Freshman), 2-2, 100%, long = 43, 2/2 PAT

If the defense dominate story line holds true, a missed FG could be the difference in this game.
 

Birky

HR Legend
Nov 23, 2001
10,038
5,470
113
That's a lot of detail there in the original post....thanks for the information and the effort. It does seem that your team has improved. I expect a hard fought game.

I'll take some heat off you....and we'll let some of these buttholes take shots at me now. If anyone on this board thinks that Ferentz won't have this team improved some more and ready to go on the road and win....you're crazy. I suspect the Hawks win this one 17-3 or 17-6...something in that realm. They will improve another solid level this week, particularly on the O Line....and they'll be set up to compete the following week at home against Michigan. That will be the typical doom and gloom week of us having no chance...we're going to get manhandled....won't be able to gain a first down....probably lose 34-0, etc., etc. That won't be the case....Iowa will have a chance to win that game at home against Michigan.
I agree with just about everything in this post.