The Rutgers defense had high expectations coming into the season and one of the reasons was the return of linebacker Mohamed Toure.
The expectations played out on the field and the Scarlet Knights displayed a strong unit from the early weeks.
After a big-time season, Toure has been named a semifinalist for the Comeback Player of the Year award, announced by College Sports Communicators on Thursday. Toure is one of 15 finalists for the award.
Toure suffered a torn ACL during the spring of 2022 that kept him out for the season. In 2023, he turned in a year that rated him as the fifth linebacker in the Big Ten, according to Pro Football Focus.
Toure totaled 85 tackles, 7.5 for loss, and 3.5 sacks in 12 games this season. He set a new career-high with 11 tackles against Maryland and added an interception vs. Ohio State. Toure was named All-Big Ten Honorable Mention by both coaches and media.
Toure helped lead a group that ranked 18th nationally in total defense (313.7) and 11th in passing yards allowed (175.9). The Scarlet Knights also allowed 25.1 points and 337.9 yards per game to Big Ten opponents, which are both highs since joining the conference.
Rutgers and Toure will have one more game to play as the team reached six wins for the first time since 2014. The destination has not been determined just yet but the Scarlet Knights will continue to prepare for their bowl game.