Official RutgersAl Rutgers Season Preview

rutgersal

Hall of Famer
Gold Member
Jun 7, 2001
35,183
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After spending the last 8 years in the College Football abyss, Rutgers is ready to emerge from its doldrums thanks to improved talent
across the board, especially on the Offensive Line, and should see its share of success. After watching Rutgers take Michigan to the
end of the game, from my seats on the 50 yard line, row 2, in the Big House, no one can tell me that we can't compete with the BEST.
We had Michigan on the ropes, in the 2nd half, running the ball at WILL, but we just couldn't close. That was our best performance of
the season, even if it came in a losing result. But sadly, due to injuries, and inadequate depth, we couldn't maintain our Michigan
performance. After the game, Michigan fans expressed their surprise, and expressed that they weren't looking forward to playing
us next year. For three quarters against Penn State, we played well, but the roof caved in on us in the fourth quarter, as we ran out of
gas, and the team was spent for the Maryland game. The Gator Bowl was fun, but non-competitive, but it gave the team extra incentive
to work especially hard during their early morning winter workouts. Consequently, you look at our players, and we pass the eye test.
This is why we're paying Jay Butler $500K, who is worth EVERY penny.

It all starts up front with the biggest, strongest, and most athletic Offensive Linemen we've ever fielded, courtesy of the portal. These
guys are not only big, but they are agile, NASTY, and they can run. I'm particularly impressed with our Guards, who are a HUGE upgrade over those who
previously played the position. These guys are so huge, I think we have 5 AIRCRAFT CARRIERS on the offensive line.
  • LT Willie Tyler 6-5 320 lbs
  • LG JD Direnzo 6-6 315 lbs
  • C Ireland Brown 6-4 300 lbs
  • RG Curtis Dunlap 6-4 335 lbs
  • RT Hollin Pierce 6-7 330 lbs
Overall, the OL is averaging 6-5 320 lbs. Of particular note, Willie Tyler started his football career at Texas. JD Direnzo was an All American at Sacred Heart. Ireland Brown transferred in from Boston College, and was solid playing Guard last year. Curtis Dunlap played extensively at Minnesota, before injuries derailed his career there, and he transferred to Rutgers. Hollin Pierce was a walk on from Trenton, a couple of years ago. He lost 70 lbs, and has subsequently earned a spot in the Rutgers OL starting lineup, and is now at a trim 330lbs. I believe that offensive line performance will determine the outcome of our games, so I'm excited that the offensive line figures to be a force in paving the way for our corp of outstanding backs.

Rutgers rushing attack is spearheaded by Kyle Monangai, small, powerful back, who played at Don Bosco in Ramsey, NJ, during high school. Monagai is especially adept at running between the tackles, demonstrating exceptional vision, and taking what the defense gives him. Kyle reminds me of Ray Rice, and he should have a decent chance of getting drafted, if he can stay healthy, which was a challenge for him last year. Kyle figures to be complemented by Freshman Sam Brown, a big, powerful back, who has the potential to be the best to ever wear Scarlet. Sam goes roughly 6-1 220 lbs, and has that extra gear to take the ball to the house. Sam could be the next Johnathan Taylor, and I expect him to have an especially productive career at Rutgers. He has excellent burst, runs through tackles, gets yards after contact, and has a tremendous stiff arm. Guys like this don't usually come to Rutgers. They usually wind up at Alabama or Georgia. IF he can stay healthy, he'll be here three years tops, then move on to the NFL. Better get your NIL wallets ready, because Sam Brown is the type of player that the SEC and USC are going to try to poach. Aaron Young and Al Shadee Salaam round out the group and should see extensive action.

I believe Schiano tipped his hand as far as who will be the starting quarterback Sunday, when he spoke about BC quarterback Phil Jurkovec.

You’re talking about a freshman at the quarterback position. There’s so much to learn,” Schiano said. “I just think his overall understanding of everything that’s going on -- when you’re really playing the position at a high level, much like (Boston College quarterback) Phil (Jurkovec) playing it right now at Boston College; he knows everything about the offense; he knows where everybody’s supposed to be. When you get to that level -- we’ve had quarterbacks at that stage here -- when you get to that level and you have the physical gifts like Gavin does, that’s a lot of fun.


It turns out we do have a quarterback on the roster who knows everything about the offense, and where everyone is supposed to be, and that of course, is Noah Vedral.
Vedral is in his 6th year, and I believe this year will be his best. This will be his third straight year starting for Rutgers, this will be the best offensive line he's played behind,
and he will have the most weapons he's ever had, at his disposal. Vedral isn't particularly flashy, but he has the leadership skills, perseverance, moxie, and grit to get the job done. He knows the offense the best and runs it efficiently. His career highlight thus far is throwing for 381 yards and 3 TDs in a losing effort against Michigan. Last year, he logged 1,823 passing yards, despite less than adequate protection, and a wr corp which lacked depth. i expect Gavin Wimsatt to be QB #2. Wimsatt is a tremendous talent, who has a high ceiling, and will get his share of opportunities. I've spoken with him, and he is very intelligent and mature, and I have no doubt he will be a Star one day. But it doesn't have to be today. Though he has shown flashes, he is still somewhat raw, and still learning, which is why i expect Vedral to be the starter. But hey, maybe Wimsatt has taken a huge jump to be the starter. If that's the case, there won't be
any complaints here, though it will be a surprise for me. Just think Vedral has earned the first opportunity to show what he can do. The team exceeded most expectations the first two years he played. Why not give him another shot?

Thanks to transfers, Rutgers WR corp is the deepest, and most talented Rutgers history. Rutgers WR Corp is led by Taj Harris, a Potential All American. He was previously a third team All ACC, at Syracuse, and was particularly productive against Notre Dame, Rutgers, Boston College, and NC State. He is a true WR1, and should be one of the Top WRs in the country this year. He has excellent hands, hand-eye coordination, high points the ball, and is able to defeat defenders thanks to his superior physicality. Last year, he dogged our decent secondary with 122 receiving yards, and I couldn't help but think to myself in the Dome, "Man it would be terrific to have someone like him on the roster". Thankfully, my prayers were answered. Harris is complemented by Aron Cruickshank, a 5-10 sparkplug who is one of the top kickoff returners in the country, having been First Team All Big Ten, in 2020. Last year, his season was cut short, due to injury, and I hope he's ready for the opener. Joshua Youngblood had 135 all purpose yards in the Gator Bowl against Wake Forest. Kid is particularly fast, so looking forward to seeing what he can do. Shameen Jones had 109 receiving yards against Michigan State. Isaiah Washington, Chris Long, Christian Dremel, and WV transfer Sean Ryan should also see extensive action.

Rutgers tight ends are led by Senior Jonny Langan, who previously played quarterback at Boston College, and sometimes goes behind Center to mostly run the ball. I like to refer to him as our offensive swiss army knife. He does whatever he's asked to bring home the 'W'. I wouldn't be surprised if he runs the ball extensively in the 2nd half, Saturday, just as he did against Purdue. I think he can be very successful against BC's smallish Defensive Line. For his career, Jonny surprisingly has 700 rushing yards. Love Jonny, and he just might be the toughest player on the team. Matt Alaimo is the other tight end, who is solid. Victor Konopka has the highest ceiling of the tight ends, and at 6-7, he is also the biggest. He broke out in the Gator Bowl with 4 catches for 52 yards, and if he continues to get better, he should have an NFL opportunity.

For too long, Rutgers defense looked like it was playing on roller skates, but that thankfully hasn't been the case since Schiano has returned. There have been times where the defense tired out, because the offense did nothing. It's the Big Ten. You leave the defense out there for an extended period of time, it's going to tire out eventually. But with a much improved offense, I don't think that will be the case.

Rutgers Defense is led by DL Aaron Lewis who has gotten better every year, and has the potential to be a double digit sack performer. I went up to him and told him to his face, that he had an NFL future, as long as he worked hard to be the best player he could be. Last year, he was a step away from getting numerous sacks, thanks to his quick first step, and he has subsequently worked hard in the offseason to get stronger, as best I can tell, so I like to think that he took my advice :). As long as he can stay healthy, he should have a very productive year. Perhaps the most productive year we've seen in a long time, like when Kemoko Turay was playing for us. Lewis is complemented on the other side by Wesley Bailey, who hails from Canada, and is seeing action due to a season ending injury to mohamed toure, who would have started. Excited about the Defensive Tackles, Ifeanyi Maijeh, Mayan Ahonatu, Kyonte Hamilton, and Troy Rainey. Maijeh is especially tough against the run. Hamilton is a budding star. All will rotate extensively, to keep themselves fresh. The Defensive Line is probably the deepest, most talented unit on the team.

The Rutgers Linebacking Corp was hit by graduation and injuries, so we will probably only be playing two, though they are good ones. Deion Jennings will be starting extensively for the first time. He has terrific instincts and a good nose for the ball. He is complemented by Tyreem Powell, who will be a star one day. Unfortunately, Linebacker is our thinnest position, and we'll be crossing our fingers that we can avoid injuries. Austin Dean, Anthony Johnson, and some of the other walkons will probably play if injuries mount. Murphys law always seem to happen to Rutgers, so sadly, we have to be prepared for that possibility.

Rutgers Defensive Back Group is deep, and we will likely be playing 5 defensive backs. The group is led by seniors Christian Izien and Avery Young, both safeties with NFL potential. Izien in particular, is a heavy hitter. Max Melton is the stud of the group, and possible All American, and will likely be matched up against the opponents best receiver. His technique and cover skills are outstanding. The other Corner figures to be Kessawn Abraham, who was the Defensive MVP last year. Desmond Igbinosun will be the Rover and will play in the box, at times, and is a heavy hitter.

As far as Special Teams go, we've got perhaps the best punter in the nation, and a new kicker. Cruickshank is an especially adept returner. Our kicker is a newcomer, Jude McAtamney. Korsaks penchant for pinning opponents deep, flipping field position, will be especially valuable, given our improvements on offense and defense.
Previously, we could not always capitalize on his stellar punting because the defense
At times struggled to contain opponents. With better talent and more depth, the defense should be better at containing opponents when Korsak pins them deep and the offense will be better at capitalizing on opportunities when presented with good field position thanks to our improvements in running and passing the ball. Rutgers is going to score lots of points thanks to Korsaks punting.

For the last 8 years, we've been knashing our teeth in college football's abyss. That changes this year. We are going to compete. I don't even care what the record is, the only charge is to get better each and every game. But I really do think there is enough talent to beat everyone, save Ohio State. And if our OL can jell by game 5, we might even be able to give them a run.
No matter what happens this season, we are on the right track. We have 11 opportunities for Victory. Now let's get it!
 
Last edited:

colbert17

Heisman Winner
Aug 30, 2014
14,243
14,178
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Bangkok, Thailand
All this is well and good but do you know how much money we're paying GS?
Do you know he never won the Big East?

The answer to these two questions blot out any progress we may make until we win a NC.
Even that won't erase the fact he never won the BE!!!!
Also don't forget that he lost to New Hampshire 18 years ago when many of our freshmen weren't even alive but somehow that's still relevant.
 
Last edited:

rutgersal

Hall of Famer
Gold Member
Jun 7, 2001
35,183
11,545
113
Looks like Al ran out of gas when he got to our Special Teams. I think they will be a big part of any success we have.
I ran out of gas, so I’ve added a little bit on Korsak who I think is going to help us manufacture points.
 
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angmo

Senior
Jul 24, 2017
1,528
1,583
113
After spending the last 8 years in the College Football abyss, Rutgers is ready to emerge from its doldrums thanks to improved talent
across the board, especially on the Offensive Line, and should see its share of success. After watching Rutgers take Michigan to the
end of the game, from my seats on the 50 yard line, row 2, in the Big House, no one can tell me that we can't compete with the BEST.
We had Michigan on the ropes, in the 2nd half, running the ball at WILL, but we just couldn't close. That was our best performance of
the season, even if it came in a losing result. But sadly, due to injuries, and inadequate depth, we couldn't maintain our Michigan
performance. After the game, Michigan fans expressed their surprise, and expressed that they weren't looking forward to playing
us next year. For three quarters against Penn State, we played well, but the roof caved in on us in the fourth quarter, as we ran out of
gas, and the team was spent for the Maryland game. The Gator Bowl was fun, but non-competitive, but it gave the team extra incentive
to work especially hard during their early morning winter workouts. Consequently, you look at our players, and we pass the eye test.
This is why we're paying Jay Butler $500K, who is worth EVERY penny.

It all starts up front with the biggest, strongest, and most athletic Offensive Linemen we've ever fielded, courtesy of the portal. These
guys are not only big, but they are agile, NASTY, and they can run. I'm particularly impressed with our Guards, who are a HUGE upgrade over those who
previously played the position. These guys are so huge, I think we have 5 AIRCRAFT CARRIERS on the offensive line.
  • LT Willie Tyler 6-5 320 lbs
  • LG JD Direnzo 6-6 315 lbs
  • C Ireland Brown 6-4 300 lbs
  • RG Curtis Dunlap 6-4 335 lbs
  • RT Hollin Pierce 6-7 330 lbs
Overall, the OL is averaging 6-5 320 lbs. Of particular note, Willie Tyler started his football career at Texas. JD Direnzo was an All American at Sacred Heart. Ireland Brown transferred in from Boston College, and was solid playing Guard last year. Curtis Dunlap played extensively at Minnesota, before injuries derailed his career there, and he transferred to Rutgers. Hollin Pierce was a walk on from Trenton, a couple of years ago. He lost 70 lbs, and has subsequently earned a spot in the Rutgers OL starting lineup, and is now at a trim 330lbs. I believe that offensive line performance will determine the outcome of our games, so I'm excited that the offensive line figures to be a force in paving the way for our corp of outstanding backs.

Rutgers rushing attack is spearheaded by Kyle Monangai, small, powerful back, who played at Don Bosco in Ramsey, NJ, during high school. Monagai is especially adept at running between the tackles, demonstrating exceptional vision, and taking what the defense gives him. Kyle reminds me of Ray Rice, and he should have a decent chance of getting drafted, if he can stay healthy, which was a challenge for him last year. Kyle figures to be complemented by Freshman Sam Brown, a big, powerful back, who has the potential to be the best to ever wear Scarlet. Sam goes roughly 6-1 220 lbs, and has that extra gear to take the ball to the house. Sam could be the next Johnathan Taylor, and I expect him to have an especially productive career at Rutgers. He has excellent burst, runs through tackles, gets yards after contact, and has a tremendous stiff arm. Guys like this don't usually come to Rutgers. They usually wind up at Alabama or Georgia. IF he can stay healthy, he'll be here three years tops, then move on to the NFL. Better get your NIL wallets ready, because Sam Brown is the type of player that the SEC and USC are going to try to poach. Aaron Young and Al Shadee Salaam round out the group and should see extensive action.

I believe Schiano tipped his hand as far as who will be the starting quarterback Sunday, when he spoke about BC quarterback Phil Jurkovec.

You’re talking about a freshman at the quarterback position. There’s so much to learn,” Schiano said. “I just think his overall understanding of everything that’s going on -- when you’re really playing the position at a high level, much like (Boston College quarterback) Phil (Jurkovec) playing it right now at Boston College; he knows everything about the offense; he knows where everybody’s supposed to be. When you get to that level -- we’ve had quarterbacks at that stage here -- when you get to that level and you have the physical gifts like Gavin does, that’s a lot of fun.


It turns out we do have a quarterback on the roster who knows everything about the offense, and where everyone is supposed to be, and that of course, is Noah Vedral.
Vedral is in his 6th year, and I believe this year will be his best. This will be his third straight year starting for Rutgers, this will be the best offensive line he's played behind,
and he will have the most weapons he's ever had, at his disposal. Vedral isn't particularly flashy, but he has the leadership skills, perseverance, moxie, and grit to get the job done. He knows the offense the best and runs it efficiently. His career highlight thus far is throwing for 381 yards and 3 TDs in a losing effort against Michigan. Last year, he logged 1,823 passing yards, despite less than adequate protection, and a wr corp which lacked depth. i expect Gavin Wimsatt to be QB #2. Wimsatt is a tremendous talent, who has a high ceiling, and will get his share of opportunities. I've spoken with him, and he is very intelligent and mature, and I have no doubt he will be a Star one day. But it doesn't have to be today. Though he has shown flashes, he is still somewhat raw, and still learning, which is why i expect Vedral to be the starter. But hey, maybe Wimsatt has taken a huge jump to be the starter. If that's the case, there won't be
any complaints here, though it will be a surprise for me. Just think Vedral has earned the first opportunity to show what he can do. The team exceeded most expectations the first two years he played. Why not give him another shot?

Thanks to transfers, Rutgers WR corp is the deepest, and most talented Rutgers history. Rutgers WR Corp is led by Taj Harris, a Potential All American. He was previously a third team All ACC, at Syracuse, and was particularly productive against Notre Dame, Rutgers, Boston College, and NC State. He is a true WR1, and should be one of the Top WRs in the country this year. He has excellent hands, hand-eye coordination, high points the ball, and is able to defeat defenders thanks to his superior physicality. Last year, he dogged our decent secondary with 122 receiving yards, and I couldn't help but think to myself in the Dome, "Man it would be terrific to have someone like him on the roster". Thankfully, my prayers were answered. Harris is complemented by Aron Cruickshank, a 5-10 sparkplug who is one of the top kickoff returners in the country, having been First Team All Big Ten, in 2020. Last year, his season was cut short, due to injury, and I hope he's ready for the opener. Joshua Youngblood had 135 all purpose yards in the Gator Bowl against Wake Forest. Kid is particularly fast, so looking forward to seeing what he can do. Shameen Jones had 109 receiving yards against Michigan State. Isaiah Washington, Chris Long, Christian Dremel, and WV transfer Sean Ryan should also see extensive action.

Rutgers tight ends are led by Senior Jonny Langan, who previously played quarterback at Boston College, and sometimes goes behind Center to mostly run the ball. I like to refer to him as our offensive swiss army knife. He does whatever he's asked to bring home the 'W'. I wouldn't be surprised if he runs the ball extensively in the 2nd half, Saturday, just as he did against Purdue. I think he can be very successful against BC's smallish Defensive Line. For his career, Jonny surprisingly has 700 rushing yards. Love Jonny, and he just might be the toughest player on the team. Matt Alaimo is the other tight end, who is solid. Victor Konopka has the highest ceiling of the tight ends, and at 6-7, he is also the biggest. He broke out in the Gator Bowl with 4 catches for 52 yards, and if he continues to get better, he should have an NFL opportunity.

For too long, Rutgers defense looked like it was playing on roller skates, but that thankfully hasn't been the case since Schiano has returned. There have been times where the defense tired out, because the offense did nothing. It's the Big Ten. You leave the defense out there for an extended period of time, it's going to tire out eventually. But with a much improved offense, I don't think that will be the case.

Rutgers Defense is led by DL Aaron Lewis who has gotten better every year, and has the potential to be a double digit sack performer. I went up to him and told him to his face, that he had an NFL future, as long as he worked hard to be the best player he could be. Last year, he was a step away from getting numerous sacks, thanks to his quick first step, and he has subsequently worked hard in the offseason to get stronger, as best I can tell, so I like to think that he took my advice :). As long as he can stay healthy, he should have a very productive year. Perhaps the most productive year we've seen in a long time, like when Kemoko Turay was playing for us. Lewis is complemented on the other side by Wesley Bailey, who hails from Canada, and is seeing action due to a season ending injury to mohamed toure, who would have started. Excited about the Defensive Tackles, Ifeanyi Maijeh, Mayan Ahonatu, Kyonte Hamilton, and Troy Rainey. Maijeh is especially tough against the run. Hamilton is a budding star. All will rotate extensively, to keep themselves fresh. The Defensive Line is probably the deepest, most talented unit on the team.

The Rutgers Linebacking Corp was hit by graduation and injuries, so we will probably only be playing two, though they are good ones. Deion Jennings will be starting extensively for the first time. He has terrific instincts and a good nose for the ball. He is complemented by Tyreem Powell, who will be a star one day. Unfortunately, Linebacker is our thinnest position, and we'll be crossing our fingers that we can avoid injuries. Austin Dean, Anthony Johnson, and some of the other walkons will probably play if injuries mount. Murphys law always seem to happen to Rutgers, so sadly, we have to be prepared for that possibility.

Rutgers Defensive Back Group is deep, and we will likely be playing 5 defensive backs. The group is led by seniors Christian Izien and Avery Young, both safeties with NFL potential. Izien in particular, is a heavy hitter. Max Melton is the stud of the group, and possible All American, and will likely be matched up against the opponents best receiver. His technique and cover skills are outstanding. The other Corner figures to be Kessawn Abraham, who was the Defensive MVP last year. Desmond Igbinosun will be the Rover and will play in the box, at times, and is a heavy hitter.

As far as Special Teams go, we've got perhaps the best punter in the nation, and a new kicker. Cruickshank is an especially adept returner. Our kicker is a newcomer, Jude McAtamney. Korsaks penchant for pinning opponents deep, flipping field position, will be especially valuable, given our improvements on offense and defense.
Previously, we could not always capitalize on his stellar punting because the defense
At times struggled to contain opponents. With better talent and more depth, the defense should be better at containing opponents when Korsak pins them deep and the offense will be better at capitalizing on opportunities when presented with good field position thanks to our improvements in running and passing the ball. Rutgers is going to score lots of points thanks to Korsaks punting.

For the last 8 years, we've been knashing our teeth in college football's abyss. That changes this year. We are going to compete. I don't even care what the record is, the only charge is to get better each and every game. But I really do think there is enough talent to beat everyone, save Ohio State. And if our OL can jell by game 5, we might even be able to give them a run.
No matter what happens this season, we are on the right track. We have 11 opportunities for Victory. Now let's get it!
Keep up the good work Al.
 
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yesrutgers01

Hall of Famer
Gold Member
Nov 9, 2008
28,464
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Anyone that can't enjoy Al or allow him to bring at least a little smile and joy to your life, well, there may not be much hope outside a bottle of Gin...

Love it Al!!! Great job.
 

kapyoche

All American
Sep 11, 2010
5,152
1,500
113
The Rutgers Season has officially started with a Big Bang.

This is the definitive take on Rutgers.

Al is right when he states, "...due to injuries, and inadequate depth, we couldn't maintain our Michigan
performance.
" Al can't be faulted for that. His predictions are 100% correct, but there is a big caveat, that the prediction may not be 100% correct if there are unforeseen injuries to key players.


Al says in his unique way, "We have 5 AIRCRAFT CARRIERS on the offensive line." If you don't have aircraft carriers, you can't exert your military leadership. We have five of them. We will exert leadership in P5.


Al says this about Kyle Monangai, "Kyle reminds me of Ray Rice," Nothing more needs to be said.

Al knows that GS will start Vedral. He has figured it out. He says this about Vedral: "Vedral is in his 6th year, and I believe this year will be his best." If Al says it then it's slam dunk with a facial.

No more run left, run right and Langan through the middle. Now we have "fighter planes" that can take off from carriers. Al points out that "Rutgers WR corp is the deepest, and most talented Rutgers history." He should know since has followed Rutgers longer than anyone alive.

Al is correct that we have a excellent TEs with Langan as the "offensive swiss army knife" who can't be defended.

Al points out that defense will not tire out as they have done in the past since our offense will be able to sit on the ball for a long time. When the defense eventually gets on the field, they will be turnover machine on steroids. Watch them closely since they are not going to be on the field much.

Al has clearly explained with solid facts that this year will be very special for Rutgers Football.
I am buying.
 

RUGuitarMan

Junior
Apr 5, 2021
851
1,182
93
I believe this to be Al’s magnum opus, a treatise of remarkable importance. It is destined to be encased in the halls of Alexander Library to live on in perpetuity.
 

RUfinally2008

All Conference
Aug 20, 2005
3,712
1,207
113
Hoping for 6-6 and getting our 1st legit bowl game since 2014 after joining the B10. Last year was a gift and a building block to hopefully a long run of post season games.
 
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RuRahRah2010

All American
Nov 2, 2006
5,079
62
48
Rutgers Al, the eternal optimist, who predicted national championships even when trAsh was the coach. I’d love it if he was right just one year