Redshirt Sophomore, scholarship defensive end Ron’Dell Carter announced on his twitter account this morning that he decided to part ways with Rutgers Football. The statement he posted on his twitter page is below:
Carter arrived on the banks in 2015 from Long Reach High School in Maryland. A multi-sport and versatile high school football player, he redshirted as a true freshman while the staff instructed him to put on weight. As a redshirt freshman in 2016, he played in five games recording two assisted tackles including a half sack against Maryland.
With Kemoko Turay sidelined during the spring game to avoid injury, Carter received a ton of playing time in the spring game. Some in the media like Chris Nalwasky of 247sports (and me) praised Ron’Dell as one of the standouts in the spring game for either side, as he or Julius Turner was surely the white team MVP. His loss may not be felt on game day in 2017 (maybe 2018), but losing a game experienced, scholarship lineman with Big Ten size is hard to easily replace.
Aside from anything personal or academic related, Carter’s transfer is not surprising due to the logjam of players (despite several graduations) at defensive end coupled with the staff experimenting with more sub packages. In spring practice for example, one day RU showed a jumbo front where three defensive tackles were alongside a 4th linebacker or a converted defensive end (Elorm Lumor or Solomon Manning). Lumor, Manning, Jimmy Hogan, and early enrollee Brandon Bordner are all fighting for second team reps at defensive end behind 5th year seniors Turay and Darnell Davis.
What makes Carter’s departure different than Jared Smolar earlier in the week, is that Carter was on scholarship. This team needs B1G depth seemingly at every position. Knights fans woke up to an article from Ryan Dunleavy that Greg Jones has been medically cleared but is scholarship-less, will Chris Ash elect to give Carter’s vacated scholarship to Jones?
Assuming he is granted a 6th year of eligibility by the NCAA, my gut reaction is to give it to Jones because that scholarship would free up after the season anyway. Perhaps Ash has someone else in mind already or one of the walk-ons like Justin Davidovicz or a transfer like Rob Nittolo deserves one now. Without knowing all the moving parts behind closed doors, Jones seems logical because the defense, specifically the linebacking corps looked WAY better when he was on the field. The team has plenty of bodies at linebacker with the influx of freshmen, but Jay Niemann likely only feels confident in two of his current starters, Deonte Roberts and Tyreek Maddox-Williams. I don’t see the staff being able to add a starting caliber player at this juncture other than Greg Jones. Jones is also a playmaker, something the Knights need, especially on defense.
If the staff decides to look long-term based on depth, it might come back to defensive end or cornerback because those positions have experienced starters in 2017, but may be down to only 4 scholarship players by 2019. Of course you can always add offensive linemen as well and we know the team is thin at tight end, so perhaps that is an option as well. Everyone knows this team still needs a starting quarterback, but my fear is that if they add more of those, unless it’s a proven starter that will start, we could see another mass QB exodus like we did in 2016.
Just like we did with Smolar, we wish Ron’Dell the best of luck at his next stop.
If granted a 6th year of eligibility, should Chris Ash give Greg Jones a scholarship?
This poll is closed
Depends on when the NCAA clears him