Rice, Greene, Leave Rutgers for NFL

Jayson LoveCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2008

Ray Rice's middle name might as well be "School Record".  He broke the single season Rutgers rushing mark in 2006 with 1,794 rushing yards (also a Big East conference single-season record), in 2007 he broke it again finishing up with 2,012 yards. He broke Terrell Willis' school record for rushing yards in a game with 243 yards in the 41-6 win against Army, and then broke that mark with a 280 yard performance in the International Bowl against Ball State University.  He also holds the all-time rushing mark for the Scarlet Knights with 4,926 career rushing yards.

Rice has the school record for points by a non-kicker with 300 (50 career touchdowns), and tied a record for longest play from scrimmage in RU history, with a 90 yard sprint, stiff-arm, and stumble into the end-zone against Ball State this past Saturday.  He did this all in just 3 seasons with the Scarlet Knights. 

Originally, Ray Rice was headed to Syracuse with his best friend, and New Rochelle High School teammate, Courtney Greene. 

When Paul Pasqueloni was unceremoniously fired by SU, it was a true turning point for Rutgers Football.  Greene and Rice's recruitment was re-opened and Greg Schiano jumped at the chance to recruit the two stars.  They both chose Rutgers.  While Greene's career was not as visibly and statistically productive as the career of Ray Rice, Greene solidified a secondary that consistently yielded big plays before his arrival. 

His big hits and pass-breakups were vital to so many wins for the Scarlet Knights.  When a big play did occur, you could usually find Greene on the sideline and not at fault.  The two friends will try their luck at the NFL level next year as the two of them made their announcement to leave the team to pursue the NFL draft this April. 

While this news saddened many of the Rutgers faithful, it is yet another in long line of things to occur to this program that seemed impossible at the beginning of Schiano’s tenure.  Players leaving early from college football programs seemed reserved for the USC's and Michigan's of the college football world.  Now it is happening at Rutgers.  The Scarlet Knights will miss Rice and Greene, but the fans, their school, and this writer wish them the best of luck in the NFL.  Go Ray Ray and Courtney, and Go RU!