Reflective Deering Ready for Finale

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers freshman Jeremy Deering had an emotion first season with the Scarlet Knights. He played two positions, dealt with personal tragedy and and became a central figure in Rutgers' offense. He spoke to about what transpired, and more importantly, what the season taught him.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Jeremy Deering chose Rutgers over Florida State because of the opportunity to play early, and the knowledge he was heading to a second family.

He got both in what has been a trying season on and off the field.

"I learned you're going to have adversity in life, so you have to deal with it," Deering, a freshman receiver, told "I have some people here and some people back home that I can count on, talk to, and work through things. I wouldn't say it's been easy, but it's been all right."

On the field, Deering has been Rutgers' most versatile, not to mention dynamic, player this season.

He started as a receiver, morphed into Rutgers' Wildcat specialist when sophomore Mohamed Sanu was slowed by injuries, and now sits as their second-leading rusher and a blossoming receiver.

Along the way, the soft spoken Deering scored three touchdowns, ran for 166 yards in a game against Syracuse, and dealt with personal tragedy when his mother lost a battle with cancer five days before what should have been a celebratory return to his Tampa home when the Scarlet Knights took on South Florida.

"The toughest part about college?" Deering said. "Time management, I would say. Trying to find the right balance."

It is balance in life, and football.

Not only is Deering mastering time management off the field with his academics, social life and family, but on it because of how his role developed.

He started as a receiver, but Sanu's injury forced him to run the Wildcat. And with that being Rutgers' only semblance of a running game, and best chance to control the ball, more and more practice time was devoted to it.

And it meant less time for him to work on his receiving skills.

"It affected me some because I don't get as much reps at wide out," Deering said. "I just have to spend extra time after practice working on it."

Deering ran for 332 yards and two scores on 68 attempts. He has 15 catches for 306 yards, averaging a team-high 20.4 yards per reception.

"He's an unbelievable player; smart, gifted, knows the game," said Sanu, who is Deering's roommate the night prior to games. "He's blessed with an ability that not many people have. (Receivers) coach (P.J.) Fleck is molding him, and the more time he spends with coach Fleck, the better receiver he becomes."

That Rutgers stands 4-7 and eliminated from bowl competition entering Saturday's game at No. 23 West Virginia is a disappointment, but Deering drew plenty from the season.

"Little things turn into big things, and I learned that you can't think about what's going to happen," Deering said. "You have to think about what's going to happen right now. For me, I think it took me a while, but I got it."

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