Near the end of the 2016 football season, redshirt junior tight end Matt Flanagan announced he would be forgoing his final year of eligibility at Rutgers to pursue a master’s degree upon graduation. He was honored, along with the rest of the players set to graduate this spring, on senior night against Penn State on November 19th. The biological science major explained he wanted to begin pursuing his doctorate and thesis in some type of research science at another school, which NJ Advance Media’s Ryan Dunleavy covers in detail here.
Today, Flanagan announced the next step in his journey will be at Pitt, where he will be eligible this coming season as a graduate transfer. He made the announced on twitter this afternoon:
Flanagan had modest stats in his career at Rutgers, finishing with 18 receptions for 145 yards and 3 touchdowns in three seasons on the gridiron. He redshirted his freshman year at Rutgers. All of his scores came during the 2015 season, when he started that year strong, scoring all three times in non-conference play that September. Flanagan had just one catch the rest of the season.
Last season, in the new spread offense under previous offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer, Flanagan had just 6 catches for 29 yards and no scores. Despite his lack of production on offense, his experience and toughness will be missed. He was a solid blocker on an offensive line that struggled a season ago. The lack of depth at tight end this spring is an area in need of answers ahead of next season.
Flanagan, the former walk-on, was a three-time Big Ten All-Academic selection at Rutgers and his success in the classroom was a bright spot off the field during a tumultuous time for the program, when it experienced many embarrassing incidents under former head coach Kyle Flood.
It’s certainly disappointing to not have Flanagan on the Rutgers’ roster next season, but he was a great student and stand-up member of the program during his four years on the banks. At the end of the day, Flanagan personified the true meaning of a student-athlete. We wish Matt best of luck in the rest of his academic career, as well as on the field this fall.