With the news that Janarion Grant is out of the season with the ankle injury he suffered on Saturday against Iowa, there are more questions than answers. By playing into the fourth game of the season, Grant exceeded the 30% limit the NCAA requires a player play less than in a season to qualify for a medical redshirt. Rutgers and Grant can apply and hope an exception would be made, but there are no guarantees. We don’t even know the full medical diagnosis yet so for now, the thoughts should be on his health and recovery. We may hear more later today from Coach Ash during his press conference, but for now it seems it’s very likely his career at Rutgers is over.
Grant is currently tied for the NCAA all-time record for the most combined kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns in a career with eight. He is fourth all-time for all-purpose yards in Rutgers history. He already secured the record for most kickoff return yards in program history last season. His 98 yard kickoff return for a touchdown last season at Michigan was the longest return by an opposing player in the history of the Big House.
The wide receiver ironically threw more touchdown passes (2), than touchdown catches (1). His greatest game was last season against Washington State, when he broke the Rutgers single game record with 337 all-purpose yards, while returning both a kickoff and punt for touchdowns. He also won the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week award four times. He was named to the All-Big Ten second team by the media and third team by the coaches last season, which was the snub of the century. This season, Grant had accounted for 35% of total offense for Rutgers.
Aside from the statistics, Grant was simply an electrifying player who could change the game at any moment. His trademark dreadlocks flopping in the air, as he cut on a dime, was a sight to be seen. He is a special player and he will rise again, hopefully in a Rutgers uniform, but if not, then on Sundays playing in the NFL. Either way, ‘‘Janarion The Great” will always be revered by Rutgers fans forever. #1 was the perfect number for Grant to wear, because he is simply the greatest returner we will ever see in our lifetime.
Here are the best plays from Grant, starting with highlights of Rutgers at Fresno State in 2014, which starts with the first play of his college career, which was an 100 yard kickoff return. I found seven of his eight returns for touchdowns, as well as other scores throughout his career and a couple compilation videos. We wish Janarion a speedy and full recovery, as we look forward to the day he runs the way only he can, in the future! Thank you #1 for everything!
Ash doesn't know if Grant can get redshirt. He is going to petition the NCAA. #Rutgers— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) September 26, 2016