For the first time since Janarion Grant won similar honors in the American Athletic Conference in 2013, a Rutgers player has been recognized as Freshman of the Week by the conference for his contribution to Rutgers Football.
Johnathan Lewis, who played a significant minutes in the 65-0 win over Morgan State University this past Saturday, was named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week by the league office earlier today. Lewis shares this honor with Ohio State running back J.K Dobbins, who rushed for 172 yards in only 13 carries, one of which was a 52-yard touchdown run.
Lewis rushed for four touchdowns in the game, the most ever by a Rutgers quarterback. The last player to accomplish that feat was running back Ray Rice, who ran for four TDs in the International Bowl in January 2008 against Ball State in his final game as a Rutgers player.
Only eight players in the 148 year history of the school have met that goal, and Lewis is only the second freshman to meet the mark. The other freshman to score four was Justise Hairston in 2003 against the Navy Midshipmen.
Prior to scoring the four rushing touchdowns, Lewis completed his first collegiate pass for his first touchdown, an 18-yard throw to Nakia Griffin-Stewart with 8:45 remaining in the second quarter of the game against the Bears.
Johnathan Lewis has come to Rutgers with great expectations from both the coaching staff as well as fans. Achieving this honor is an early validation of those expectations, and will only whet the appetite of the fanbase to see more of Lewis in upcoming games.
Rutgers opens Big Ten play this coming Saturday against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. While graduate transfer Kyle Bolin will undoubtedly start the game, calls for him to be pulled will begin early if he struggles in the game.
Congratulations Johnathan on this honor. We hope it is merely the first of many in your Rutgers career!