Dear College Football Gods,
May you bless the health of Aron Cruickshank so he is able to play on Saturday.
We wish Wisconsin and its faithful no ill will. The only cruelty served would be not allowing a player gifted with lightning fast quickness the chance to play against his former team. After suffering a shoulder injury a month ago, he has not been able to return to the field of play since.
Aron Cruickshank doesn’t appear to have left Wisconsin on bad terms, but rather for greater opportunity. In addition to being an All-Big Ten special teams returner, he wanted to have a larger role on offense as a wide receiver. He had four receptions and 19 carries in 27 games spread over two full seasons in Madison. For whatever reason, a larger role on offense was not expected at Wisconsin. Cruickshank ultimately ran back a touchdown on a kickoff return in the Rose Bowl and then soon ran out of town for good.
The speedster soon landed at Rutgers as his desired destination to fulfill his goals. Since he has arrived on the banks, Cruickshank has been the team’s second best wide receiver and playmaker who has the potential to score any time he touches the football. He turned a 5 yard catch into a 75 yard touchdown against Ohio State this season. His athleticism and determination is something to admire and celebrate. He also became the Big Ten Specialist of the Year last season in returning two kicks for touchdowns. His star began to truly shine in scarlet.
Getting hurt has slowed the Rutgers offense and completely voided the return game on special teams. Alas, this plea to a higher power is not just about what is best for the team. We only wish the best for Rutgers as well and of course know they’ll benefit from his return. However, the true reason is that a player who has worked as hard as Cruickshank has in his time at RU truly deserves an opportunity to remind his former team what they lost. It’s not a malicious sentiment, but rather one seeking redemption, justification and fulfillment.
Allow Aron Cruickshank to be healthy enough to play on Saturday.
We don’t care if Mr. Miyagi comes down from the clouds in the form of an Angel and has to perform a miracle with his magical hands. Don’t deprive this young man the opportunity to face his old team. Rutgers and Wisconsin do not play next season, so this is his only chance. To steal a line from Mr. Miyagi, playing well against the Badgers will give Cruickshank balance in his playing career.
If Cruickshank is not healthy enough to play or perform on the field on Saturday, then he definitely should not suit up. His long term health and ability to return at full strength is what’s best for his life and his career. And if he misses the chance to show his former team they made a mistake, he will have to settle by continuing to build his overall body of work as proof.
From a karma perspective though, Cruickshank deserves the opportunity to play against Wisconsin and prove his worth to them where it hurts the most...on the scoreboard. If he was able to score a touchdown, whether it be a 1 yard rush or a 99 yard kickoff return, it would likely be the most satisfying play of his career. It might not happen if he plays, but it would be a lot cooler if we could have the chance to find out.
Make it so.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
The entire Rutgers fan base