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Who Made Athlon Sports’ Preseason All-Big Ten Teams

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Projecting 2015 production, Athlon Sports named seven members of the Rutgers football program to their All-Big Ten preseason teams Thursday.

While the publication doesn’t give respect to Rutgers overall coming off an impressive 8-5 record a year ago, the sports magazine/media website gave out individual honors. Senior wide receiver Leonte Carroo to the first team along with junior Janarion Grant (kick returner). Senior defensive tackle Darius Hamilton was named to the second-team defense. In addition, redshirt senior offensive tackle Keith Lumpkin, and redshirt junior linebacker Steve Longa were slotted third team distinctions. Redshirt junior offensive guard was appointed to the fourth team along with redshirt sophomore defensive end Kemoko Turay.

Carroo led the Scarlet Knights in 2014 with 55 receptions for 1,086 yards and 10 touchdowns, but will be without friend, and former four-year player Gary Nova under center. His current 19 career touchdowns sit third in the Rutgers record books.

As a freshman, Grant took his first touch of college football for a touchdown in 2013 when he returned a kickoff at Fresno State to tie the game early at seven apiece. The versatile slot receiver averaged 25.3 yards per kickoff return as a sophomore with 910 yards overall with two runs of 71 yards. In addition, Grant totaled 317 all-purpose yards (188 kick return, 105 receiving, 24 rushing) in the regular season finale com from behind victory at Maryland.

Hamilton, a team captain, racked up 11.5 tackles for a loss last season earning the team defensive MVP award at the football banquet. The former five-star recruit out of Don Bosco Prep finished with 5.5 sacks as well as a junior.

Lumpkin and Muller helped anchor the offensive line, paving way for a slew of running backs a year ago, including a dominating bowl game. The two have played in 26 straight games and helped the team finish with 2,114 rush yards on the season, the most for the Scarlet Knights since 2007.

Longa moved to weakside linebacker from middle linebacker and racked up 102 tackles. Turay, who is ranked by as the No. 8 most freakish athletic player in college football, turned heads as a freshman earning All-American Honors. Turay showed his explosion getting to opposing quarterbacks and blocking three kicks, and none bigger than the late-game stuff against Michigan.


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