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Former Rutgers star Aron Cruickshank signs one-year deal with Pittsburgh Steelers

The ex-Scarlet Knight will get a chance at the NFL level.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 12 Rutgers at Michigan State Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former Rutgers standout Aron Cruickshank has signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to multiple sources.

Cruickshank spent time with the Chicago Bears this summer after signing as an undrafted free agent. Now, he will head to the Steelers and get a chance to use his speed at the next level.

Cruickshank transferred to Rutgers ahead of the 2020 season after two years at Wisconsin. In 2020, he was named the Big Ten’s return specialist of the year in a vote by conference coaches. He became just the second Rutgers’ player ever to earn a top-individual award from the Big Ten, joining Ryan Anderson, who was named the conference’s punter of the year in 2017.

That same year, Cruickshank fielded a kickoff near the goal line and returned it 100 yards for a score. This was just the fifth 100-yard return in the history of Rutgers’ football. During his three-year career with the Scarlet Knights, Cruickshank averaged 23.4 yards per kick return.

Cruickshank caught 37 passes in 2020 and showed his ability to be a multi-faceted player within the offense. He finished the next year with six touchdowns before suffering a season-ending injury against the Badgers.

Cruickshank worked his way back for the 2022 season and put up a career-high 42 catches and 385 receiving yards. He added 115 rushing yards.

Cruickshank fits the bill as a Swiss-army knife type of player that can do many things in the NFL. He has experience as a kick returner, receiver, and ball carrier. This summer, Cruickshank has shown his ability as a wide receiver, including shiftiness and reliable hands. It will be interesting to see how Cruickshank is used moving forward.