More preseason lists!
Chase Goodbread, a college football writer for NFL.com, released a series of top-15 lists covering everything in college football from stadiums to mascots to Heisman candidates. The entire series is a fascinating read for any college football fan and it's clear that Goodbread did his research when compiling each list.
Three Rutgers players, Leonte Carroo, Darius Hamilton and Kemoko Turay, earned recognition, with Carroo appearing on two different lists.
Carroo, who led the team with 1,086 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns last year, was named the 10th-most explosive athlete in all of college football, along with being named the 3rd-best player on a "bad" team. Here's what Goodbread had to say about RU's star receiver.
Carroo is both big and fast (he has been clocked in the high 4.3s in the 40). He was productive in 2014 working with a quarterback with a scattershot arm and will be challenged again by mediocre quarterback play in 2015. The key is to picture him working with a consistently competent quarterback. Carroo was seventh in the Big Ten in receptions last season (55), but was second in receiving yards (1,086) and third in TD receptions (10). He has 83 receptions in the past two seasons -- and 19 have gone for TDs.
While the second accolade is a nice little honor for Carroo, it's a bit of a shot at the Rutgers team. However, Goodbread himself states that the list is a bit controversial, and says that only players from teams projected to finish below .500 qualified for the list.
Carroo wasn't the only Knight to land on the best player on a "bad" team list, as Hamilton came in at the No. 10 slot. Hamilton recorded six sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss from his defensive tackle position last year, and will look to put the finishing touches on a phenomenal career this year in his senior campaign. Read what Goodbread had to say about Hamilton.
Hamilton needs to add bulk, but he was productive for the Scarlet Knights last season, finishing with 45 tackles, six sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss. Hamilton was a consensus national top-25 player in the 2012 signing class and will be a three-year starter for the Scarlet Knights. Hamilton has good quickness and is technically sound, not surprising when you consider his dad, Keith, played for 12 seasons in the NFL with the New York Giants.
Turay was rated the 8th-most freakish athlete, according to Goodbread. Last year, as a redshirt freshman, the Kemoko Dragon tallied a team-high 7.5 sacks. The defensive end also made an impact on special teams, blocking three kicks, including the game-sealing swat in the upset victory over Michigan.
Turay played just one season of varsity football in high school and still is raw; he also played basketball and competed in track (a state-ranked triple jumper and long jumper) in high school in New Jersey. Rutgers coaches saw him in a football camp before his senior year of high school and he flashed his enormous athleticism to the point that he was offered a scholarship. That fall, in his only season of varsity football, he had 19 sacks and signed with the Scarlet Knights. He began to flash last season as a redshirt freshman, leading the Scarlet Knights with 7.5 sacks (tied for third in the Big Ten) and finishing third on the team with 8.5 tackles for loss. He also had three blocked kicks. He runs the 40 in the 4.6s and has a vertical jump reputed to be around 40 inches and a broad jump of a bit more than 10 feet. Turay was born in Ghana and moved to the United States with his parents when he was 3.
Did any other Rutgers players deserve recognition? Hit the comment section below to give your two cents.