To start things off, here is an on-the-side conversation with coach Kyle Flood about the biggest news items of the week.
Ahmad left Rutgers after a four-year stint to work with the San Francisco 49ers.
Flood said that James will be unavailable for the start of training camp.
Freshman linebacker Sidney Gopre did not qualify academically, and will attend New Berlin (N.Y.) Milford Academy this fall. Defensive end Justin Nelson also did not qualify academically out of Wayne (N.J.) DePaul Catholic. Walk-on quarterback J.R. Reese was also a non-qualifier.
Nelson will attend Nassau Community College, and Reese will attend prep school. He remains committed to Rutgers as a walk-on.
Wide receiver Tejay Johnson received a medical retirement after battling multiple years of lower-body injuries.
Around the Big Ten, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald spoke highly of wide receiver Miles Shuler. Shuler sat out last season after leaving Rutgers, and projects to be a key skill player for the Wildcats this season.
“I can’t talk about his experience at Rutgers because I wasn’t there,” Fitzgerald said. “To see what he did when he walked into our program, I think he played a multitude of positions for us on the scout field.
“He really worked hard to learn the system like some of the other guys that we’ve had transfer into our program. He really did a great job of becoming one of the guys. Our current roster really opened their arms to Miles. Then you fast-forward to spring ball. He’s a dynamic playmaker. He really fits our offense well. I think he’s going to be an impact player, also, in the kicking game. He’s done well academically, so we’re excited to have Miles.”
“I think it’s great,” Hazell said. “Rutgers is an unbelievable program academically. They’ll play a great brand of football. It will help the east coast market in terms of recruiting. … New York City is right there. I think it will be good for the conference.”
It did not take long for Michigan coach Brady Hoke to get the Jabrill Peppers questions. The top New Jersey prospect in the 2014 class begins the year as a projected starter in the defensive backfield.
“Let’s anoint him when he does something,” Hoke said.
Flood spent 15 minutes at the podium, live on national television. Here is the transcript.