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SOR's 5 Burning Questions Part V - StateOfRutgers.com
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SOR's 5 Burning Questions Part V

Aug 6, 2010 | By: Random Blogger

 

As the beginning of August comes about, the Rutgers football program is gearing up for the 2010 season. There are some burning questions that arise when taking a look at the latest edition of the Scarlet Knights. StateOfRutgers.com has examined the Rutgers football program and has come up with five burning questions. In today’s installment, the final of the series, we take a look at our No. 5 inquiry heading into training camp:

 

Who will provide a consistent effort opposite of Mohammed Sanu at wide receiver?
In 2009, Rutgers saw the emergence of Mohamed Sanu as a game-breaking offensive threat. When he wasn’t racking up yards receiving, Sanu was busy running and throwing the football, returning kicks and running the offense out of the Wildcat formation. Many analysts across the country have pegged Sanu as one of the most versatile colligiate athletes nationally, going into the 2010 season. However, every Batman needs a Robin to help regulate the amount of attention being paid to him. Who will be Rutgers’ additional receiving threat who will be utilized as the yang to Sanu’s ying?
Sophomore Mark Harrison – who is penciled in as the starting receiver opposite Sanu – still has a lot to prove. His 5 catches for 83 yards and 1 touchdown in 2009 need be improved upon. Harrison did receive a good amount of experience a year ago, appearing in 8 games. He has dropped 20 pounds since last season and is moving better because of it. The 6-foot-3 blazer has now regained the top-end speed which made him a Connecticut legend at Bunnell High School.
Redshirt sophomore D.C. Jefferson comes into training camp facing some lofty expectations. The 6-foot-7 juggernaut, who has been mentioned as a possible future first round draft pick will be depended upon much more heavily in 2010 than he was last season - his first as a tight end. Jefferson has proved to be a devastating blocker and has shown flashes in the passing game, but he will be looked to as a go-to target in 2010 for the Scarlet Knights due to having an additional year under his belt at the position.
The spring of 2010 saw the emergence of redshirt sophomore Timothy Wright as a potential complement to the receiving core at Rutgers; especially, after he won Most Improved Player honors for the spring. His performance came as a surprise to many as Wright was relatively quiet production-wise his first two years on the banks. Wide receiver is one of the toughest positions to transition to from the high school level. In his third year, Wright is finally beginning to locate his stride and looks to make a huge push for playing time.
Redshirt sophomore Keith Stroud improved upon his one catch in 2009 during the spring game when he scored a touchdown. Stroud was brought to the banks straddled by high expectations of his own, which he has yet to be able to live up to. Could 2010 be the year? Yes, it possibly could. Stroud has most of everything you look for in a receiver. He is a legit 6-foot-3, weighs 200 well-built pounds, can run well and can jump out of the building. If he can ever pull it all together, he could be a man-child out there.
Redshirt freshmen Jamal Merrell and Phil Lewis will also be looked upon to improve and possibly make a contribution to the 2010 version of the Scarlet Knights.
There is no clear answer to who will step up between now and opening day against Norfolk State. However, it is clear that Rutgers has tremendous size and depth at the wide receiver position. Besides Sanu, Jefferson, Harrison, Wright, Stroud, Merrell and Lewis – all of which are athletic and stand 6-foot-2 or taller- Rutgers has a good amount of receivers who bring something different to the table.
Redshirt freshman Quron Pratt has become a dependable commodity. The 6-foot, 175-pound redshirt freshman catches everything. While Pratt is in the progress of building his frame to the point where he can optimize his effectiveness, his ability to get open and ensure the catch makes him a highly viable candidate to catch a good number of passes in 2010.
Expect solid efforts out of redshirt freshman Aaron Hayward and redshirt junior Mason Robinson, both of whom bring a unique skill-set to the Rutgers offense. One thing that Hayward doesn’t lack is confidence. The question is, “Will his offensive swagger be enough to overcome his battle with the playbook?”
With Robinson returning off of injury, if he can regain his speed, look for him to contribute via multiple avenues.
Regardless of how they are inserted on the two deep, Rutgers enters the year having at least five serviceable receivers who at the very worst should be able to contribute effectively. The 2010 Rutgers aerial attack has the potential to be special.
The player who undoubtedly ties this whole thing together is sophomore quarterback Tom Savage. Like most young quarterbacks, Savage struggled going through his reads and progressions at times last year, and had a tendency to lock-in on Mohammed Sanu and Tim Brown.
Oftentimes, both Wright and Stroud would garner significant playing time throughout a contest, yet would not log a reception. With a full year under his belt, perhaps Savage will be able to incorporate all his receivers into the passing game allowing players such as Harrison, Jefferson, Wright, Pratt, Stroud, Hayward and Robinson (etc.) to become more involved in the offense.
The additions of freshmen Brandon Coleman, Jawaun Wynn, J.T. Tartacoff, Jeremy Deering and Jordan Thomas could also provide Rutgers with additional depth if the benefit of playing them outweighs the benefit of having them wear a redshirt.

 

Updated On: Aug 8, 2010 09:06 PM

 

 

 

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