A Jersey guy and former Scarlet Knight player is coming home. Announced by Rutgers Football on Twitter last night, Tiquan Underwood has been named Wide Receivers coach on Greg Schiano’s staff. The official announcement came after the Miami Dolphins wrapped up their NFL schedule last weekend where Tiquan was a quality control assistant this past season.
Underwood grew up in North Brunswick and went to high school at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville. Despite being considered just a two-star recruit out of high school, he had three FBS offers, primarily due to his tremendous speed. Tiquan chose to stay home and play for Schiano rather than join Maryland or Vanderbilt, it paid off well for him and the team.
As a true freshman, Underwood was used as an option running quarterback before the term “wildcat” or “Wild Knight” was in the football vernacular for the role. The following season, the sophomore Underwood and freshman Kenny Britt emerged as the Scarlet Knights’ top two wide receivers during the magical 2006 season. The duo really exploded in 2007 as Rutgers became the first team in FBS history with two 1,000 yard receivers (Underwood and Britt), a 2,000 yard rusher (Ray Rice), and a 3,000 yard passer (Mike Teel). Underwood led the team with 65 catches and added seven touchdowns including two in an upset win over #2 South Florida. As a senior captain, Tiquan added another 40 catches, 494 yards, and five touchdowns to put him in the top ten for his career on the banks in all three categories.
Following his college career, Tiquan was selected in the 7th round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2009. After 10 games in two seasons, Underwood moved on to the New England Patriots where he was on and off the roster quite frequently, enough to earn an AFC championship ring for the 2011 season. The following two years he played for Greg Schiano with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the team’s primary deep threat, scoring six touchdowns. After an off-season with the Carolina Panthers, he spent three seasons in the Canadian Football League before hanging it up.
Underwood entered the coaching ranks the following season at nearby Lafayette College where he oversaw their receivers in 2018. After one year, he ended up in Miami for the 2019 season, reuniting with Dolphin Head Coach Brian Flores. Flores was a longtime Patriots staff member and therefore had crossed paths with Underwood during their time in New England.
This is an excellent hire because it adds a younger coach to the staff with NFL experience both playing and coaching. Underwood brings ties back to Greg Schiano’s first tenure on the banks, albeit as a player the first time around. Most importantly, he fits the mold of a player who was underrrecruited out of high school, developed at Rutgers, and made a nice career for himself in the pros. Regardless of who is brought in as offensive coordinator, having Tiquan should be an asset to the wide receiver group. We’ll see if any of his players can break his single game record of 248 receiving yards, set in 2007 against Buffalo.
Underwood joins Schiano, Nunzio Campanile, Fran Brown, and Jim Panagos, as the coaches officially confirmed for 2020 on field staff. It’s also been reported that Bob Fraser will return after the conclusion of the New England Patriots season.
Welcome back to the banks Tiquan!
Also, remember the style points for the haircut ...