Aron Cruickshank made an immediate impact in 2020 during his first season with Rutgers.
Cruickshank was named the Big Ten’s Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year after averaging 26.8 yards per return. He finished the season with two returns for touchdowns and doubled as a wide receiver. Because of his work in both areas, Cruickshank has landed on a preseason watch list.
On Thursday, Cruickshank was named to the Hornung Award Watch List. It’s named after Paul Hornung, Paul Hornung, the former Notre Dame and Green Bay Packer legend who is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This award is a given to the most versatile player in college football. Previous winners include Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, and DeVonta Smith.
In 2020, Cruickshank was named First Team All-Big Ten for special teams. He finished with 671 total return yards. As a receiver, Cruickshank totaled 239 yards and one touchdown. He finished second on the team, behind Bo Melton, with 37 catches.
The Scarlet Knights’ fast-paced offense seemed to benefit Cruickshank. With Sean Gleeson and some key members of the offense back, this should improve further in 2021. The special teams unit is another one that is expected to be dynamic. Kansas State transfer Joshua Youngblood is regarded as another elite kick returner. This duo should bring excitement to the return game.
Cruickshank and Rutgers will take the field on Thursday, Sept 2 against Temple for the season-opener.