Rutgers Will Need Young Receivers To Produce Early
Just one year ago, the names Leonte Carroo and Tyler Kroft were not so much nationally known. Many around the Rutgers football program could see the stars in the making, but prior to last season, nobody really had a chance to see them in action. They were able to some what sneak on the scene.
The wide receiver and tight end combo became big play threats for Rutgers and quarterback Gary Nova during the 2013 season. This season, the pair are well known in the college football world. There will be no surprises from the duo.
Carroo and Kroft will get their share of opportunities and make big plays during Rutgers first season in the Big Ten Conference. However, teams now know what they are capable of and will begin game planning around them. Nova and the rest of the Rutgers offense will need to adjust and find new ways of making plays.
Nova, a senior quarterback, has been tagged as inconsistent throughout his career. Despite entering a much tougher conference and having one of the toughest schedules in the country, confidence remains high for Nova and the Rutgers offense. Carroo is the sure handed, big play, go-to receiver. Kroft is the very talented tight end that can change a game. Throw running back Paul James in the mix and you have quite a four-some of skill position players for the Scarlet Knights.
What’s needed now? A supporting staff.
When teams game-plan around Carroo and Kroft, where will the passing attack head next? Nova can not afford to thread the needle and force passing to those two go-to players. He will need to find others to trust and to make plays. Of course, those players need to get open in order for Nova to have a chance.
Andre Patton and Ruhaan Peele would have been a welcomed sight to Nova and Rutgers fans, however those two players will miss the season opener and possibly more. Peele has been out since suffering am upper body injury in the first week of camp. Patton will miss the opener with an injury as well.
Next up are sophomore’s Janarion Grant and John Tsimis, redshirt sophomore Carlton Agudosi, and fifth-year transfer from Kansas, Andrew Turzilli.
Grant burst on the scene last season when he took a season-opening kickoff for a touchdown. He lacks much experience at wide-out however, just three catches last season. Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood said during training camp that he expected Grant to have a bigger role on offense. That could come tonight, when Rutgers opens the season in Seattle against Washington State.
Whether it be Grant, Tsimis, Agudosi, or Turzilli, someone will need to step-up and make a name for themselves this season. If Carroo and Kroft see more and more double-teams, a window of opportunity will be available for another play on the field. Who will seize that opportunity is yet to be seen. Tonight’s game will be the first indication on who that young receiver may be.
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