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Rutgers all-time sacks leader Nate Toran passes away at 66

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He was a defensive star during the program’s rise in the mid-1970’s.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 04 Maryland at Rutgers Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr./Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nate Toran, one of the best players in Rutgers football history, passed away at the age of 66 this past Saturday per a press release released by the program. The two-time All-American was included as a member of the inaugural class that was inducted in the Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988.

Toran produced 52 sacks in his Scarlet Knights career during the span from the 1973 to 1976 seasons. He owns the three highest single-season sack marks in program history, registering 19 sacks in 1974, 17 in 1976 and 16 in 1975. Toran has 23 more sacks than any other player to ever play for Rutgers.

He captained the legendary 1976 team that went undefeated with an 11-0 record and led the country in total defense (179.2), scoring defense (7.4) and rushing yards allowed (83.9). Toran won both the Homer Hazel Award given to the most valuable player and the Paul Robeson Award given to ”the senior whose performance, leadership and dedication on and off the field had the greatest impact on Rutgers football.”

After Rutgers began the 1975 season with a 2-2 record, Toran famously said “I don’t want to lose anymore.” He never lost another game on the banks, helping RU win the last 18 games of his collegiate career.

Toran was a biological science major at Rutgers and held four degrees, while also being enshrined in the New Jersey Sports Writers Hall of Fame. His obituary can be read here and in lieu of flowers the family has requested donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.