For wide receiver Leonte Carroo, Saturday could be his final home game as well with NFL potential at the position. Carroo said Indiana is his lone focus going into senior day.
“I’m just trying to finish the season right now.” Carroo said. “I’m just trying to get a win, actually. We haven’t had a win in a while, and I’m just focused on getting a win, and most importantly, getting a win for the seniors. It’s their night. It’s all about them, and that’s my main concern.”
Carroo saw Brandon Coleman leave early and go undrafted last April. Rutgers, however, also saw Kenny Britt and Mohamed leave early for big-time opportunities as NFL receivers.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder from Edison (N.J.) is not naive to his NFL potential, and plans to address it after the end of the season.
“It’s something I’m going to talk to my family about, and see what can happen from there, discuss it with them and just make my decision based off of how my family feels and what I think is the best decision for me,” Carroo said.
The focus for Carroo falls solely on Indiana (3-6, 0-5) with the Hoosiers in a four-game slump of their own. Carroo wants to make it back-to-back-to-back bowl berths for the second time in Rutgers football history.
Beating the Hoosiers sends Rutgers bowling for the third straight year under Kyle Flood, whose Scarlet Knights lost three straight heading into the last bye week.
“It’s been hard,” Carroo said. “As an offense, we haven’t been executing as a whole. Receivers haven’t been doing their job – linemen, quarterbacks, et cetera. Once we get clicking again and fix the little details, things will be fine again.”
The Rutgers (5-4, 1-4) is equally at fault in the eyes of the players and long-time Carroo teammate Darius Hamilton saw the bye week as an opportunity to fix mistakes.
“It’s really important to have that bye week when we had it,” Hamilton said. “I think we got a lot of people healthy. It gave us an extra week looking toward Indiana, and got us more time to get excited about playing this game. …No question, it helped. We got in some really good work in with our pads. We were able to hit some, fly around.”
Hamilton and Carroo both say their home goodbyes to high-school teammate Gary Nova on Saturday along with 18 other college teammates.
“It’s really important because we’ve got a lot of great guys on our team with a lot of great character,” Hamilton said. “It’s important for us to send them out the right way.”
The final home game for Carroo and Nova together after the duo made for a dangerous combination in Piscataway.
“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be very emotional,” Carroo said. “I’m pretty sure when he walks out there for the last time, this could possibly be one of the last times we ever play together. You never know what could happen as far as NFL and things like that. As of right now it could be the last time me and Gary ever play [at home] together. … It’s his night, his senior night. I want to go out there and leave him with a win.”