Sam Bergen returned for his sixth year as a heavy favorite for Michael Burton’s vacated fullback position. Bergen reports to camp Sunday as the leading contender, but now finds himself in a position battle.
“Razohnn had a good spring,” said Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood. “He really showed some flashes. Between him and Sam Bergen, it’s going to be a fun race to watch during training camp. Both guys may ultimately end up playing for us.”
Gross worked his way onto the second team for the Rutgers spring game, and Kevin Marquez’ offseason move to linebacker displayed confidence in the former Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep star.
“I think Razohnn has a chance to help us on special teams and certainly has a chance to help us at fullback,” Flood said. “He’s a very powerful, explosive back.”
Gross committed to Rutgers as an undersized nose tackle, but his small stature did not stop him from a spectacular high school career at Don Bosco. Names like Darius Hamilton, Gary Nova, Jabrill Peppers and Alquadin Muhammed grabbed the headlines during multiple state championships, but Gross was as valuable as any of them.
Just ask his teammates.
“Razohnn is the life of our team,” said high school and college teammate Leonte Carroo. “He’s a funny guy. He brings a lot of energy. To watch him play fullback and actually in a position where he’s comfortable is great. In high school, he was a beast. He was a man among boys. He was just a bulldozer. Now he finally found his position in college and he enjoys it.”
Gross bounced between scout-team defensive lineman and fullback during his first two Rutgers season. He is at home now at fullback, where he likely begins next week’s training camp on the second team. According to Flood, Gross can expect on-field action this season.
“That would mean the world to me,” Carroo said. “A lot of people don’t know, but we’ve been playing football together for 15 years. He was my center in pop warner and then we won championships in high school. Now we’re teammates at Rutgers. To see him finally play, it would be great. I’m proud of him, and I would love to hug him after he scores a touchdown or makes a big block.”
The Rutgers community is always supportive of its walk-ons, and Gross could be the next in line for a significant role.
“So many guys come to our program as walk-ons and have really great careers,” Flood said. “Razohnn is at the beginning of his, so he has a lot to prove and a lot to accomplish, but I’m excited about the way he’s trending right now.”