This week, On the Banks has been running a "Meet The New Guys" series, introducing a few new contributors to our readers. On Wednesday, we introduced Aaron Breitman, the new basketball reporter. Yesterday, we introduced Griffin Whitmer, a new contributor focusing on football recruiting and Knights in the NFL.
Today, I will be introducing myself, Tim Wentz, the new site manager of On the Banks.
I will be filling the shoes of former site manager Kevin Recio, who did a phenomenal job of building On the Banks as a respected voice on Rutgers Athletics. Kevin has been very helpful in my transition and I would like to thank him for all he did for OtB.
As for myself, I grew up in West Deptford, New Jersey and have worked in college athletics for the past two years(one year apiece at Virginia Tech and SMU). Growing up in New Jersey, I've followed Rutgers for my entire life and can relate to the hard-working, lunchpail-type attitude that is a theme throughout the RU sports teams.
I am thrilled to be a part of this blog and believe the move to the Big Ten has opened up tremendous opportunities for this site. I will be covering football and have high hopes for the team in its second season in the B1G. Also, I am looking to build the social media presence of On the Banks, so please give us a follow on Twitter or Facebook, if you haven't already.
As part of my introduction, here are three bold predictions for the Rutgers football team this fall.
1. Paul James becomes one of the top running backs in the Big Ten.
Melvin Gordon, Ameer Abdullah, Tevin Coleman, David Cobb and Jeremy Langford all departed for the NFL, opening the window for a new crop of breakout backs. With a new quarterback, head coach Kyle Flood and new offensive coordinator Ben McDaniels will rely on the ground game to establish a consistent offense. Youngsters Robert Martin and Josh Hicks were impressive late in the season last year, but James, who missed most of the 2014 season after tearing his ACL in the fourth game, is the most complete back on the roster and should be the go-to guy. If he stays healthy, James should surpass the 1,000-yard plateau.
2. Carlton Agudosi breaks out, catches 10 touchdowns.
Leonte Carroo had a breakout 2014 season, but defenses will likely throw doubles teams and high safeties his way. Due to the attention on Carroo, the 6-6 Agudosi should see plenty of single coverage and that could prove to be a huge asset for the Knights, especially in the redzone. Agudosi has been a star for the past two springs, but the success in practice has not translated to games. Big receivers (Turzilli, Coleman, Harrison) have thrived for Rutgers in recent years and Agudosi is next in line.
3. Rutgers earns first win over ranked B1G foe in conference play.
Rutgers could give Michigan State a run for its money on Oct. 10, with Sparty potentially overlooking the Knights (MSU plays Michigan the following week). However, the more likely upset is Nebraska on Nov. 7 in Piscataway. The Huskers drew an easy schedule for 2015, dodging a matchup with Ohio State and playing Michigan State, Wisconsin and Iowa all at home and will be coming off of a nationally-televised game versus Michigan State when they travel to Piscataway. Last year, the Knights kept it somewhat close in Lincoln, despite an injury to Gary Nova and overall sloppy offensive play, before eventually falling to the Fighting Ameer Abdullahs. With Nebraska riding too high and Rutgers on its home turf, another crazy night in Piscataway could ensue.