Rutgers football announced the first official signing of the 2021 recruiting class with Kansas State transfer Joshua Youngblood. The former All-America kick returner brings speed and plenty of potential to the program.
As a true freshman during the 2019 season, Youngblood had three kickoff returns for touchdowns and averaged 35.9 yards per return for the Wildcats, which would have led the country if he had enough attempts. He earned Big XII Special Teams Player of the Year and earned All-America honors.
The Tampa, Florida native was a 3-star recruit in the 2019 class and attended Berkeley Prep. It’s the same school where Greg Schiano’s sons played high school football and he had previously served as a volunteer assistant. Youngblood becomes the third player from Berkeley Prep to chose Rutgers since Schiano became head coach. Defensive tackle Mayan Ahanotu transferred from Minnesota in the offseason and linebacker Austin Dean committed back in May to the 2021 recruiting class.
The 5’ 10”, 180 pound Youngblood also had nine catches for 73 yards and 11 carries for 55 yards and a score as a true freshman for Kansas State. It’s obvious that Rutgers hopes Youngblood can follow the path that Aron Cruickshank has paved this season. The former Second Team All-Big Ten kick returner only had 4 career catches in two seasons at Wisconsin. In his first season at RU, Cruickshank is tied with Bo Melton for the team lead with 30 receptions this season.
Youngblood played in two games this season at Kansas State but didn’t record any stats before entering the transfer portal. In regard to his eligibility, he has four years to play three seasons and will likely be counted as part of the 2021 recruiting class.
He has Janarion Grant level playmaking ability and explosiveness. Adding a player with the speed and talent of Youngblood is a major win for this program. Rutgers is hoping his big play ability on special teams continues and also translates well within the spread offense that coordinator Sean Gleeson runs.
Here are highlights from Youngblood’s freshman season at Kansas State.