Moving Forward: Rutgers Star Power

Scout looks at which Rutgers players have the most star power and marketability as we head into the 2015 season under coach Kyle Flood.

A new season means new marketing campaigns and the chance to create stars. While Rutgers (deservedly so) celebrates two of its most marketable faces in Carli Lloyd and Todd Fraizer, Scout looks at the top five football players with star potential.

5. QB Chris Laviano

Good, bad or somewhere in between, your quarterback is the face of your program on game days. As the leading contender to start, Laviano has to get ready for the intense microscope previously battled by names like Mike Teel, Gary Nova and Tom Savage.

As Dillon Panthers coach Eric Taylor says, “quarterback’s a captain.” Whomever wins the battle in training camp instantly becomes one of coach Kyle Flood’s most marketable-players and most requested-interviews.

4. LB Steve Longa

Fans love a tackling machine, and Longa took that to another level during his first two on-field seasons. Everybody likes a big-hitting linebacker, and Longa will be a vocal leader for the Rutgers defense as a rising junior. Tyrone Stowe’s tackling record isn’t going down any time soon, but Longa will certainly climb the charts.

Back at his best position of weakside linebacker, Longa is in line for a big season and he represents a top New Jersey talent that stayed home when he had plenty of options to go elsewhere.

3. RB Paul James

The classic Rutgers story. James walks on. James Works hard. James beats out the best of the best for a starting role and then James breaks out. Rutgers prides itself on equal opportunities for all players, and James is the perfect example. He is a New Jersey kid that worked his way to a starting role from last on the depth chart upon his arrival.

Expected at 100 percent for training camp, James will likely see a reduced role early, but he could be one of the best Big Ten running backs this season.

2. DT Darius Hamilton

Everyone is a one-star when they first step onto the practice field. Hamilton’s five-star high-school career, however, holds water with many fans and prospects in New Jersey. He more than earned his ranking with three impact seasons, and his senior year could be his best.

Hamilton is another guy that says all of the right things, comes from a big-time program and makes impact plays on Saturdays.

1. WR Leonte Carroo

The senior from Edison, N.J., is the complete package for Rutgers. He plays at a flashy position, and does it better than most of his Big Ten counterparts. Carroo is a record-breaker, a stat machine and a legitimate NFL prospect.

Carroo is one touchdown away from the school’s career record, and could be in line for a monster season if a new-look offensive line and new quarterback catch on under Ben McDaniels. Top things off with the fact that Carroo is always engaging, a thought-provoking interview and someone that says the right things in front of a camera.

Honorable Mentions -- DE Kemoko Turay, RB Josh Hicks, LB Quentin Gause

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