Rutgers Needs Young Receivers to Step Up As Injuries Cut Depth
Added by Gregg Snyder on August 24, 2010.
The Rutgers football team roster was pretty solid at the wide receiver position when training camp started. Now it’s an entirely different story. The question can be asked, will Rutgers have enough wide outs for the season opener on September 2nd.
The Scarlet Knights need to do everything in their power to make sure #1 receiver Mohamed Sanu stays healthy. They are going to need him more than ever now. Yesterday Double G Sports talked about the Rutgers wide receiver situation on it’s radio show.
The battle was always about who would line up on the opposite side of Sanu. After a stand out mini camp, Tim Wright was thought to be the guy. A player with tremendous up side had finally put everything together. His success continued into training camp. Then the injury hit him.
Wright was lost for the season with a knee injury. A blow to the roster and the team. We would soon find out just how big of a blow it really was.
Following Wright was Quron Pratt, another receiver that was putting his game together and proving he deserved more playing time. Guess what?! Pratt has a shoulder injury and will be out at least another three weeks.
That brings us to Mark Harrison. This young receiver had shown signs of his potential but remained a bit inconsistent. Harrison has the talent to become a star from the wide receiver position. With Wright and Pratt injured, Harrison was the logical choice to start. Not so fast.
During the teams second and final scrimmage, Mark Harrison suffered a head injury after he went up for a pass and was undercut by a defensive back. He is out indefinitely at this point. This is the second straight season Harrison has suffered a head injury, even more reason to be concerned.
Where does Rutgers go now?
It does sound like the Scarlet Knights have a true freshman that has been catching the eyes and attention of head coach Greg Schiano since he stepped foot on campus. Get used to the name ladies and gentleman, you will be hearing a lot of Jeremy Deering.
The 6-2, 198 lb speedster from Florida is pushing his way into the starting lineup. Deering is an exceptional athlete that will likely now see a ton of playing time this season. He had been practicing mostly from the slot receiver position but with all the injuries, he will likely move outside.
We can also expect Deering to be the new pilot of the wildcat package for Rutgers. Last year Mohamed Sanu was the freshman sensation that did it all for Rutgers. Deering is this years version.
Rutgers WR, J.T. Tartacoff
Brandon Coleman and J.T. Tartacoff are also true freshman that had been in the mix. Coleman was the receiver with all the hype. The future star. It’s been a fairly quiet camp from Coleman and he was likely headed for a redshirt season. Tartacoff is a speedy receiver from Montgomery, New Jersey with great hands.
With Sanu on one side and Deering on the other, Tartacoff would be a great guy to have in the slot, right? Of course, but you guessed it. Tartacoff was carted off the practice field on Monday with a leg injury. His status is unknown.
Coleman may be forced into action this season due to all of the injuries. Other players that will need to step up for the Knights are redshirt Sophomore Keith Stroud and redshirt Freshman Aaron Heyward.
If the depth at wide receiver gets any thinner, Schiano may be forced to bring someone from the other side of the ball to help out. The ideal candidate would be Marcus Cooper, however Rutgers does not want to do that.
Cooper had entered Rutgers as a receiver but was since moved to defensive back. He has been a pleasant surprise on the defensive side of the ball and Schiano would prefer to keep him there.
Rutgers RB, Mason Robinson
If need be, I’m sure Rutgers could always move Mason Robinson of Somerville, New Jersey back to the wide out position. Robinson was a speed guy that came to Rutgers as a running back before moving to the wide receiver position last season. Robinson was hurt early in the year and missed the remained of the season. He is back this year and once again competing for time in the Rutgers backfield.
As it stands now, Rutgers has Sanu as their number one target. Deering is the guy to watch for as he seems to be standing out above the rest of the depth chart for the #2 spot. There has never been a bigger time then now for other receivers to stand up and step up.