Aron Cruickshank is being recognized once again for his work as a return man by being named a Walter Camp Preseason All-American.
The 2020 season marked Cruickshank’s first in a Rutgers’ uniform — and it was a good one. He was named the Big Ten’s Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year after averaging 26.8 yards per return. Cruickshank finished the season with two returns for touchdowns and they both came in big moments.
The first came in a victory over Purdue. Trailing 30-20 in the third quarter, Cruickshank was able to keep the Scarlet Knights in the game with a 100-yard kickoff return. He fielded the kick deep in the end zone but it does not get recognized as longer than 100 yards. The second was another third-quarter score. Rutgers was knotted with Nebraska at 14 in Week 9 when Cruickshank returned a kick 98 yards to the house.
Cruickshank was also named First-Team All-Big Ten a year ago. The 2020 season was his first with the Scarlet Knights but not his first in the conference. Cruickshank spent his first two years with Wisconsin and this is where he made a name for himself as a kick returner. Most notably, Cruickshank returned a kick 95 yards for a score against Oregon in the 2019 Rose Bowl.
With Rutgers, Cruickshank is beginning to turn into a receiver. He finished with 37 catches last season which was good for second on the team behind Bo Melton. The fast-paced offense that Rutgers displayed in 2020 fit Cruickshank well.
Cruickshank will enter the fall as one of the top returners in the league once again. Rutgers will have an elite unit with the addition of Kansas State transfer Joshua Youngblood. The countdown is on to reach Sept. 2 when the Scarlet Knights open the season at SHI Stadium against Temple.