As Jeremy Deering goes through the motions of moving from the Rutgers Scarlet Knights’ special teams unit to a full-time receiver, the junior still brings one similarity from his 2011 play; he’s fast.
Deering, who finished last season as the Big East’s leading kick returner, recorded 17 returns for 530 yards, including a 98-yard dash that helped lead the Scarlet Knights to a 20-17 overtime victory against USF on November 5.
Deering’s move to wideout gives recently named starting quarterback Gary Nova a quick option in the open field; literally. Thanks to his well-documented speed and agility, Deering’s expectations on the field are already high.
If the junior can break open the opposing Big East defenses this season, expect Nova to take advantage of it.
He may be a first-time receiver, but Deering could, and likely will, have a major impact on the Scarlet Knights total offense.
Deering will be joined on the field by returning wideouts Brandon Coleman and Quron Pratt, who add another dimension of size and strength to the Rutgers’ receiving corps.
Coleman in particular will have high expectations in the Scarlet Knights’ opening matchup against Tulane, just over a week from now.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound junior posted incredibly impressive numbers in 2011, racking up 552 yards and six touchdowns on just 17 receptions.
Pratt, also returning for his junior season, finished last year with a team-high 32 receptions; expect him to be a favorite target for Nova in 2012.
The Scarlet Knights are, no doubt, young in the receiver spot, but what they lack in age, they make up for in experience, totaling six returnees for this season. That experience will give Nova, in his first year under center, plenty of options in the air.