Rutgers Football: A True Freshman to Start at Wide Receiver?
Rutgers' wide receiver corps is getting more depleted by the day.
First, Tim Wright injured his knee and will miss the entire season. A redshirt junior who finally had nailed down the starting job opposite Mohamed Sanu, Wright was destined for a breakout season.
Then Quron Pratt, a highly touted 4-star cornerback-wide receiver recruit who was going to be Rutgers' main slot receiver this season, injured his shoulder and will be out for a month.
And if that wasn't enough, Tim Wright's replacement Mark Harrison is out indefinitely due to a head injury three plays in to Rutgers' final scrimmage.
Four-star recruit Brandon Coleman is definitely a future starter for the Scarlet Knights, but he's going to be redshirted and needs another year to bulk up and improve his route-running.
Fortunately for Rutgers, the starting job has fallen into the hands of a true freshman by the name of Jeremy Deering.
Deering, a 6'2 198 pound receiver from Florida, has impressed all of training camp and was practicing as Rutgers' main slot receiver after Pratt's injury.
That only lasted for a few practices as Deering was bumped up to the starting spot after Mark Harrison's injury.
Deering excelled in the starting spot during two minute drills, recording five receptions for 87 yards and made his case to be the starting wide receiver opposite Mohamed Sanu.
He also seemed to have instant chemistry with quarterback Tom Savage.
Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano is still unsure about the extent of Harrison's head injury and doesn't know when he'll be playing again.
"I'm hoping he may only be a out for a while," Coach Schiano said. "Unfortunately last year he had the same thing. When you get into that situation, you have to be extra careful."
This means the No. 2 wideout role will be Deering's for a decent amount of time and if he does well, the former 3-star recruit who had 18 scholarship offers including Florida and Ohio State, might even keep Quron Pratt in a slot receiver role when he returns in a month.
As for who will take over in the slot receiver role, another true freshman named J.T. Tartacoff is in the running as well as redshirt sophomore Keith Stroud and redshirt freshman Aaron Heyward.
For all the skeptics and fans afraid of true freshmen starting remember that Mohamed Sanu started as a true freshman.
Also remember that in 2006 Kenny Britt started at wide receiver and did great.
Could we be witnessing the rise of 2010's Big East Freshman of the Year?
Only time will tell.
Be sure to watch Rutgers' opening game Thursday September 2 to find out more.
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