Rutgers football fans can begin visualizing who will be the targets for the still unknown starting quarterback. The Daily Targum previously reported on the Scarlet Knights' options for the signal-caller position.
What is known is that head football coach Greg Schiano is not only bringing a wealth of experience but also a number of new coaches to the Banks. Among the new coaches is wide-receivers coach Tiquan Underwood. After eight seasons in the NFL and Canadian Football League, he spent last season as part of the Miami Dolphins' staff.
Underwood will work with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Sean Gleeson to incorporate the scheme Gleeson hopes to implement, and that starts with recruiting. One of the products of his efforts is a transfer from Wisconsin, junior wide receiver Aron Cruickshank.
The former three-star recruit has two years of eligibility remaining, as well as an unused redshirt, which he can use to retain those two years if he isn’t granted immediate eligibility by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Having served mostly as a kick-return specialist, Cruickshank appeared in all 27 games during his time with the Badgers. Last year, he returned 2 out of 23 kicks for touchdowns, including one in the Rose Bowl Stadium, and ended the season with 674 return yards.
During high school and his stint at Wisconsin, Cruickshank lined up at quarterback in wildcat packages, and in his true freshman year, the former long jumper posted six carries on jet sweeps.
Rutgers clinched commitments from true freshmen wide receivers, Robert Longerbeam and Ahmirr Robinson. In his senior season, Longerbeam did a bit of everything, passing for 1623 yards and 14 scores, rushing for 721 yards, and receiving for 103 yards in addition to tallying an interception and 29 tackles.
The duo joins a wide-receiver group featuring senior Bo Melton and sophomore Isaiah Washington. Melton, the Knights’ reception leader last season, tallied a reception in every game. He notched two touchdowns on 30 receptions with 427 yards, the highest in all of the said categories among active Rutgers student-athletes.
With the departure of former wide receiver Mohamed Jabbie, Melton will be the most experienced receiver on the Knights. Rutgers also lost several other receivers to the transfer portal.
While Melton will look to build on his success for his final season, Washington is gearing up for the next three years. As a true freshman, he started 11 games, took a 51-yard reception to the house and posted 272 yards.
On his touchdown reception in the win against Liberty, Washington caught a short pass with defenders in front and behind him, and outran three defensive pursuers on the way to the end zone.
With the departure of many receivers, Washington has familiarity with the quarterbacks that those younger or less experienced lacks.
Among those younger receivers are sophomore Paul Woods and redshirt freshmen Christian Dremel and Stanley King. Like Washington, Woods appeared in 11 games last year and started against Illinois. He brought in nine receptions for 48 yards. In high school, Wood lined up as a flanker or split end and hauled in deep passes. Dremel made two catches in last year’s finale against Penn State and King redshirted.
An unknown as of now for the Knights is senior wide receiver, Monterio Hunt. Out last year with a torn ACL, the transfer from Northwest Mississippi took a redshirt year. In his sophomore season, Hunt reeled in 41 catches for 405 yards and tallied three touchdowns. Before his time with the Rangers, Hunt played on special teams at Marshall.
He originally committed to Mississippi State after a high school senior season averaging nearly 27 yards per reception, as well as compiling 22 combined rushing and receiving touchdowns.
Gleeson coached under Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy, who runs the Air Raid offense, sending four receivers onto the field with the quarterback in the shotgun position.
Gleeson said, “We will be operating primarily out of the shotgun," according to 247sports.com.
For updates on the Rutgers football team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.