Rutgers football is finally back! Here’s what you need to know about your Scarlet Knights as we head into the season:
October 24th at Michigan State, 12 PM
October 31st vs Indiana, 3:30 PM
November 7th at Ohio State, TBD
November 14th vs Illinois, TBD
November 21st vs Michigan, TBD
November 28th at Purdue, TBD
December 5th vs Penn State, TBD
December 12th at Maryland, TBD
Greg Schiano is back for his second stint as head coach for Rutgers. He was originally with the Knights from 2001-2011. His teams were some of the most successful that Rutgers has ever seen. He will offer much needed structure and experience to the struggling Knights.
He also overhauled the coaching staff, bringing in many new coaches that he has had some experience with during his many stops across the FBS and NFL. The Knights have new offensive, defensive, and special teams coordinators, along with new tight ends, defensive backs, linebackers, running backs, offensive line and defensive line coaches. These changes could jumpstart the Rutgers team and help them rise from the bottom of the Big Ten.
Coach Schiano did not waste much time in loading up with new talent for the roster. He added 11 transfers from around the country. Some of the notable ones are:
Noah Vedral, QB from Nebraska- Vedral followed Coach Scott Frost from UCF to Nebraska, but did not see the field other than in mop up duty for the starter Taylor Martinez. Vedral was a three-star recruit coming out of high school and will likely compete for the starting QB job.
Aron Cruickshank, WR from Wisconsin- Cruickshank was used primarily as a return man at Wisconsin, as he has just four receptions in his career. Two of those receptions are for touchdowns, however. His speed will be a great asset to the Knights offense.
Jovani Haskins, TE from West Virginia- Haskins was used sparingly in his time at West Virginia, but his 6’5 251 pound frame will offer Rutgers great size both for blocking and as a redzone target.
Brendon White, S from Ohio State- White played under Schiano at Ohio State from 2017-18. He won the Rose Bowl Defensive MVP award in Schiano’s defense in 2019 in a victory over Washington. White will be an instant difference maker on the Scarlet Knight defense.
Michael Dwumfour, DT from Michigan- Dwumfour is a physical defensive tackle that saw some playing time for the Wolverines in his time there. He has 36 tackles and 4 sacks in his career. He will likely be a starter for the Knights defense as well.
The NCAA guaranteed that all teams would be bowl eligible for this season, which ends a six year drought for the Knights. They will also play on December 19th as part of the first ever Big Ten Champions Week. Every team in the Big Ten is guaranteed a 9th game against a member of the opposite division in the conference. The 1 seed in the East division will play the 1 seed in the West division for the conference championship, the 2 seed in the east will play the 2 seed in the west, and so on. This was to balance the difference in the amount of games played with the schedules of other conferences, as the SEC, Big 12 and other conferences are playing 10 game schedules. Rutgers has a chance to steal a few games from high level opponents. If there was ever a year for a surprise team to have success, this would be it, especially for a young and rejuvenated Rutgers squad.