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Rutgers has five players named to Senior Bowl Watch List

It’s a clear sign that there are multiple Scarlet Knights who could be selected in next year’s NFL Draft.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 14 Illinois at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Five Rutgers players were named to the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl watch list on Thursday. They include Isaih Pacheco and Bo Melton on the offensive side of the ball and Olakunle Fatukasi, Tyshon Fogg and Ifeanyi Maijeh from the defense.

The Senior Bowl is the most prominent college all-star game and serves as the first step of the NFL Draft process. The entire week of practices serve as a detailed evaluation period and are filled with professional scouts and other NFL personnel, as is the game itself.

Rutgers has previously had 14 players invited to the Senior Bowl with Kemoko Turay being the last Scarlet Knight to participate in 2018.

Pacheco enters this fourth season with 1,795 career rushing yards and will look to produce the program’s first 1,000 yard season since Jawan Jamison in 2012. If he does, he will enter the top 5 for most rushing yards in program history. The bruising back averages 4.5 yards per carry for his career and could emerge as one of the best in the Big Ten this season.

Melton was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list for a second straight season and finished third in the Big Ten with nine touchdowns last fall. He had six receiving, two rushing and one on a punt return. He enters this year with 1,393 receiving yards for his career and has a legitimate chance to finish in the top 10 all-time in program history. He hauled in a career best 638 receiving yards last season.

Fatukasi, nicknamed O3, has already been named to watch lists this season for the Bednarik Award, Nagurski Award and Butkus Award. After leading the Big Ten with 11.2 tackles per game last season and earning First Team all-conference honors, expectations for his last season on the banks are extremely high. The linebacker produced six games last season with double digit tackles, including 17 against both Michigan and Penn State.

Fogg is a two-time Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection and three year starter and teams up with O3 to form a formidable linebacking core for Rutgers. With 240 career tackles, Fogg has a chance to finish in the top ten all-time in program history in his final season. He is already seventh all-time in assisted tackles with 163 and could break the program record of 207 held by Tyronne Stowe as well.

Maijeh was a First Team All-AAC selection for Temple in 2019 and was named to the Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy watch lists in 2020. After transferring to Rutgers, Maijeh has an opportunity to become a major contributor along the defensive line this season.

For all of our preseason coverage for Rutgers football, click here.