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Former Scarlet Knights Visit on Pro Day

Devin McCourty

Devin McCourty


F.A.M.I.L.Y. Forget about me I love you. That is the mantra that Rutgers football preaches about its program. The players are more than just teammates. They are brothers and a big family.

Rutgers held their annual Pro Day last Wednesday, March, 11, and a slew of former Scarlet Knight football players were in attendance. Every now and then, you can catch them at High Point Solutions Stadium, the Hale Center, or in this case, the Indoor Practice Bubble sharing laughs, stories on their careers, their time “On the Banks”, or being in these athletes shoes in front of NFL scouts when they were NFL hopefuls looking to catch a team’s eye.

The University currently has 20 “Knights in the NFL”, according to, and many of them came to Pro Day including Eric LeGrand, former running back/fullback Brian Leonard (Saints), safety/linebacker Khaseem Greene (Bears), and newly minted Super Bowl champions tight end Timothy Wright, and cornerback/safety Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots and more. The latter All-Pro safety just signed a hefty five-year $47.5 million contract ($28.5 million guaranteed) with the Patriots.

In addition, many other Rutgers football alums were in attendance. Head football coach Kyle Flood said, “There were quite a few guys here that are playing in the NFL that came back. I walked in the door immediately to Devin McCourty and Jeremy Zuttah. I also ran into other players who didn’t move on to the NFL, but moved on to life, and to jobs. Those are the things that make you feel good about the family we have here.”

The players also echoed that it is something special when former players come back to see them perform whether it is game day, a practice, or an event like Pro Day, and he keeps touch with a couple guys.

“It was awesome seeing everyone,” projected middle-round selection in this year’s NFL Draft tight end Tyler Kroft said. “I’ve been in contact with a few of them. There’s some of them that I’m pretty close with, but I’ve picked their brain ever since the Combine, and also just seeing how everyone is doing in training and what their input on how I should carry myself throughout the whole process.”

Linebacker Kevin Snyder reiterated that note and also said the former players give the current athletes a boost when they come around.

“When the guys come back to Pro Day it gives us more of an incentive to prove ourselves, because a lot of time those NFL guys were the ones that showed us the ropes and it’s cool to come out and perform in front of them,” Snyder said in an email to Double G Sports who had a solid Pro Day of his own. “I have been training with (former offensive lineman RJ Dill), and he has been giving me his story and how things went for him so I have an idea of what’s to come.”

Flood mentions there is added excitement when former players come back to Rutgers, and the main factor why he preaches and all players speak of the family atmosphere. Even recruits say the whole family aspect and not just talking and worrying about football -but life- is a big reason why ultimately they choose to come to Rutgers.

“There’s a lot of buzz,” Flood said. “It’s one of the great examples as we go through the year of why this is more a family than it is a football team. To see those guys come back every year, it’s what makes this day special. It becomes an annual reunion for our football program.”

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