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Rutgers Opponent Player Watch: Michigan’s Rashan Gary

Facing a great NJ Talent in Maize & Blue

NCAA Football: Michigan at Indiana Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Rashan Gary is a New Jersey kid that wasn’t just the the top recruit in the state, but also for the entire country in the 2016 recruiting class. Gary is from Plainfield, New Jersey, starred at Paramus Catholic and was as highly sought after as a recruit can be. Gary held over two dozen offers which included Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Ole Miss, and USC , to name a few. Ultimately, Rashan Gary decided to leave the Garden State and head for Ann Arbor to play for the Michigan Wolverines.

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Illinois
RU must establish the run attack
Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Statistically, Gary is having a quiet season. He has only accumulated two sacks, which is somewhat disappointing considering his large potential and upside. In addition, he does have 35 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, and 1 forced fumble. Gary may not be having a monster season right now, but this player has the potential to cause some serious havoc against Rutgers. Size truly matters in the game of football and his 6’5”, 280lbs frame will create matchup problems against the Rutgers offensive line. His quickness and strength will cause disruption against the offensive line, which will creates lanes for his linebackers/defensive backs. His presence alone will give the offensive coordinator his full attention on each play. Sometimes, the stat sheet doesn’t tell the full story. Rashan Gary is an impact player.

How to Stop Rashan Gary

He is a player that Rutgers must double team. Gio Rescigno is at his best when he has time in the pocket. If the offensive line collapses due to Gary’s pressure, then the offense will suffer. The key to stop Rashan Gary’s pass rush is to have a running back chipping him, which will allow the quarterback a couple of seconds to throw the ball. Gus Edwards will be the man for the job since he has size and power to block Gary. Also, the offensive line must play with a mean streak. Rutgers left tackle Tariq Cole will have a tall order, but he is a solid lineman that can give Rashan Gary a challenge.

Michigan’s defense is very solid. Despite their 45-14 blowout loss against B1G rival Penn State, their defense should be respected. Michigan is a still a tough opponent and playing in the Big House isn’t an easy task. Rutgers is a 23.5 point underdog and it’s Michigan’s homecoming. Rutgers are going against the odds in this game and they will have to deal with a wounded lion in Michigan. Rashan Gary will be pumped up to play a college in Rutgers that was in his backyard growing up. Rutgers will have an uphill battle on offense in this game, but will be helped if they can keep Gary at bay most of the day.