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The impact of Elorm Lumor’s return for Rutgers

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The biggest roster surprise provides a big boost for the defense.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 30 UMass at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Greg Schiano released the Rutgers’ football roster on Monday and there was one unexpected impact player on it — Elorm Lumor.

“That was an interesting turn of events. Part of it has to do with the COVID situation,” Schiano said during a conference call on Monday. “So if you look at Lumor’s opportunities, it is unfortunate but Friday we were going on spring break and that was supposed to be our pro day. Well, that got cancelled because of COVID and then a lot of the workout opportunities were cancelled as a result. So when the draft came and went and nothing happened for him, he and I spoke again and he had an interest in returning.”

Rutgers will have one of their best defensive players back this season. Lumor decided to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft but was not selected or signed as a free agent. After discussions with Schiano, Lumor expressed interest in returning to the team. This led to applying for a waiver and gaining Lumor’s eligibility back for the 2020 season.

“He and I spoke way back when I took the job and he had some very valid thoughts about why he should go to the NFL, which I didn’t argue with him,” Schiano said. “I agreed. So when it did not work out, I was more than happy to see if we could try to do something.”

Lumor has made 24 starts over three seasons for the Scarlet Knights. He has totaled 83 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. Lumor has struggled with injuries during his career but his return immediately strengthens the front for Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights landed transfers along the interior defensive line such as Malik Barrow, Ireland Burke, and Michael Dwumfour. Schiano did not have as much success at the defensive end position. When they were in a position where they were going to lose their best pass rusher, the Scarlet Knights would have needed many players to step up into major contributing roles. With the return of Lumor, players like Tijaun Mason, Devin Baldwin, and Robin Jutwreten can focus on their role as depth options. Lumor will start opposite Mike Tverdov on the outside.

The return of Lumor will also impact the depth at the tight end position. Freshman Tahjay Moore and Victor Konopka were recruited as players with the ability to play both tight end and defensive end. On the roster, both players were listed as tight ends. Shawn Collins was in the same boat but he has been listed as a defensive end. This also allows Michigan transfer Aaron Lewis to be worked in slowly. He spent one semester in Ann Arbor before returning to his home state.

“We were going to wait and see because Elorm wasn’t sure what he wanted to do,” Schiano said. “He declared for the draft and the whole ordeal. So we followed up and did our own waiver once Elorm felt that is definitely what he wanted to do and I am really pleased he is here, is a really good football player and he works really hard so it’s exciting for us to get him back.”

It is exciting for the entire program plus fans to have Lumor back at Rutgers for the 2020 season. Rutgers is focused on Oct. 24 when they will be taking on Michigan State but it is impossible not to play around with the idea of Lumor returning in 2021. Even for Schiano.

“The crazy thing with this year being what it is, I am not saying this will or could happen, but this year doesn’t count in your eligibility,” Schiano said. “So he actually could be back in 21 if he chose to.”