We are now on to Part II of the 3-part introduction series and up next is yours truly. I am very excited to help contribute to this website and am looking forward to sharing my fan input with all of you. I am going to be focusing on recruiting and Knights in the NFL and Overseas. Andy Egan still has you covered with all the major recruiting news and I will be providing various updates as well as recaps on recruiting whether it be weekly or monthly, depending on the amount of action. I will also be the main guy when it comes to former Scarlet Knights. Come NFL season, I will provide weekly updates on how former Rutgers players fared in their NFL careers. For now, I will mainly focus on players like Chas Dodd, who are currently playing in Italy.
I myself have been a Rutgers fan as long as I can remember. Although I am still in my teenage years, I have been going to games with my dad since the days that Rutgers would get smacked around by the U. I remember going to games in the early 2000's against teams like Buffalo, Virginia Tech, Boston College, and Michigan St. and rarely going home happy. I am a football season ticket holder and try to get to at least a few basketball games a year, but usually wind up at the ones where the RAC parking lot is a 3-inch puddle of slush. Regardless of all that, I have a strong passion for Rutgers sports and hope to use that passion in writing great pieces for you all to read. I look forward to getting to interact with you all in the comments and hope there is some good dialogue in the future.
In a similar fashion to Aaron, my introduction piece will be related to what I cover. Since I cover Knights in the NFL, I will share my 5 favorite Rutgers players of all time who have graduated.
5. Eric Foster, DT, 2004-2007/08.
I will always consider Foster the grandfather of "The Chop" and he is the feature of one of my favorite Rutgers photos of all time. I will always remember watch him and Ramel Meekins terrorizing Louisville QB Brian Brohm back on that legendary November night in 2006. Not to mention, Foster's locker room speech that year parallels the great Tim Tebow.
4. Khaseem Greene, LB, 2008-2012
My favorite part about Greene was his all-around tenacity. Back when he was still a safety, I remember reading about him getting into a fight with someone else during practice and thought to myself, "Wow, Rutgers needs more nasty guys like him". Anyone who witnessed Greene's incredible 2012 season can agree with me when I say that he made watching defense fun. He led one of the greatest defenses in school history and not to mention he had some pretty sweet red dreadlocks.
3. Ryan Hart, QB, 2002-2005
You may know him as the guy who sued EA Sports, but to me he is the player who led Rutgers to their first bowl game and winning season under Greg Schiano back in 2005. I was very young during his time at Rutgers but he was that name that I would always hear when I would watch or listen to games and thus became my favorite player. Hart will always have a special place in my heart especially because he was one of my first Rutgers jerseys (I believe Raheem Orr was my first). Although some people may have it out for Hart because of the whole lawsuit business, he still remains as one of my all-time favorites.
2. Mohamed Sanu, WR, 2009-2011
Without Sanu, Rutgers probably would've suffered a three year bowl drought from 2009-2011. The talent on those teams was so scarce that there wasn't even a QB that Greg Schiano trusted to run the offense. Alas, Sanu stepped in and played wildcat QB which involved running and throwing the ball, as well as splitting out wide to catch passes whenever Chas Dodd would get his chance to come in. As a pure pass-catcher, Sanu was a human highlight reel. As you can see in the photo above, anything in the vicinity of Sanu was caught by him. He single handedly made Rutgers games entertaining to watch because you never knew what "SAAANNNUUUUUUUUUU" would pull out of his bag of tricks.
1. Brian Leonard, FB/HB, 2003-2006
This one isn't even close. No player will ever dethrone Leonard as my favorite Rutgers player, ever. Without a doubt, Leonard set the foundation and was the most important player on the 2006 team. Without Leonard, Ray Rice wouldn't of had the breakout year he had and Mike Teel would probably have lost his starting job to Jabu Lovelace (anyone remember Jabu?) He was also a stand-up guy and was the only person I've ever paid for an autograph. From his incredible hurdle and run play against Illinois in 2005 to his clutch screen pass against Louisville in 2006, Leonard was always there to make a play when no one else could. He was the first Rutgers player I followed in the NFL and was the first NFL jersey I overpaid for. Leonard will always be the all-time great in my mind and I only wish he could've found a situation in the NFL where he was better suited for success.