Redshirt Sophomore and scholarship running back Trey Sneed 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:
Sneed arrived on the banks in 2016 from Fleming Island High School in Florida. He was highly recruited, selecting Rutgers over offers from Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Utah, Georgia Tech, Navy, Temple, Illinois, and others. After enrolling early, Sneed made offseason headlines by being the first running back and one of the first four players on the entire team to have the black stripe removed from his helmet by Chris Ash’s staff, deeming him ready to play.
As a freshman in the fall, Sneed was in the mix for running back carries, but the staff preferred the experienced Robert Martin and Josh Hicks as change of pace backs to receiving threat Justin Goodwin. Rather than redshirt, Trey was a fixture on special teams with three tackles and four kick returns. He will be remembered for quite some time as carrying the ball for a first down in the 4th quarter against Michigan, Rutgers’s first conversion of the day with less than 10 minutes to go in the game.
In 2017, Rutgers still had seniors Martin and Hicks plus added freshman speedster Raheem Blackshear and graduate transfer Gus Edwards. The battle for reps was heated in camp and the staff ultimately decided to start Edwards (now starring for the NFL’s Ravens) with Martin as the backup and Blackshear as a change of pace back. As a result, Sneed redshirted.
With Martin, Hicks, and Edwards all out of eligibility, many including me expected to see a 1-2 punch at running back of Blackshear and Sneed in 2018. Then Rutgers added Boston College graduate transfer Jon Hilliman and his 26 career touchdowns. Unfortunately for Trey who continued to reshape his body in the weight room, Hilliman was mostly recovered from injuries and Isaih Pacheco burst on the scene as the complement to Blackshear. Pacheco’s big play ability was simply too much and Sneed was used as the third back when needed. During his limited workload, Trey did look pretty good running between the tackles and catching three passes.
Fans will probably remember him even more for a play he was involved in this year than the carry against Michigan. In the play that summed up the 2018 season (pictured above) the Scarlet Knights trailed Penn State 13-0 early in the 3rd quarter, but were inside the Penn State three yard line for 1st and goal. After being stuffed on runs the first three attempts, Penn State elected to call a timeout prior to the 4th down play. John McNulty dialed up the “Philly Special”, completely catching Penn State off guard as Trey Sneed (oddly enough in the role of “Trey” Burton and throwing lefthanded) took a reverse and lofted a perfect throw to quarterback Giovanni Rescigno in the endzone. Gio could not hold onto the pass despite it hitting him in both hands and no defenders within 10 yards. The play symbolized missed opportunity for Rescigno, Sneed, and the program as a whole surely in 2018, but also for their whole careers on the banks.
Rutgers runs 'Philly Philly' on 4th-and-2. It was executed to perfection, but Giovanni Rescigno could not make the catch. Rutgers turns it over on downs. pic.twitter.com/XOF1xxKyMa— Brian Fonseca (@briannnnf) November 17, 2018
Sneed’s transfer is not surprising due to the logjam of players at running back, by far the best position on the roster other than punter in 2018. Even with Hilliman’s departure, Blackshear and Pacheco each have plenty of eligibility remaining with the incoming freshman class not yet finalized. The depth at the position and special teams takes a hit with this loss and I fully expect Sneed to be barreling people over in the Patriot League. He was highly recruited out of high school, one of RU’s weight room stalwarts, and did nothing to make you think he wasn’t a solid rotational piece on a Big Ten team.
Let’s hope this is not the beginning of a mass exodus like we saw in 2016.
Just like we did with past offseason transfers, we wish Trey the best of luck at his next stop.