The Headline – While injuries nag Rutgers as it hits the halfway point of the season, the Scarlet Knights return a key starter on the defense Saturday against No. 4 Michigan.
Sophomore safety Saquan Hampton makes his return to the secondary for the first time since week one at Washington.
“Right now, we got Saquan Hampton back and we’re excited about that,” said head coach Chris Ash. “He’s been out practicing. He’s not 100 percent, but he’s close, close enough where he’s going to play. So we’re excited about having him back.”
Kiy Hester is a different story. The sophomore filled in at free safety during Hampton’s absence but enters this week questionable, according to Ash.
“We’ve been working a lot of guys back there (at safety),” Ash said. “(Junior cornerback) Ross Douglas has been taking a lot of reps at safety, also. Right now, Kiy Hester is questionable for the game. But we’ll see how that goes the next couple of days.”
Ash said he does not expect Greg Jones to be available Saturday.
The fifth-year senior walk-on started all of Rutgers’ first five games at the SAM. He was carted off the field last week at No. 2 Ohio State after a helmet-to-helmet hit.
“Right now, it looks like Greg Jones is not going to be able to go,” Ash said. “Greg is going through some evaluations still. He’ll find out for his future from the injury last week at Ohio State. He’s walking around fine and feels great, but we’re not sure what his future will be yet.”
When asked about Jones’ future in a follow-up, Ash did not comment.
“I’m not going to make any comments on that yet,” Ash said. “We’re just not sure what his future will be yet. So we’re still going through. It was a scary moment for him and for everybody, and we want to make sure whatever is done — returned to play or not — that Greg Jones’ safety is first and foremost.”
Worth Noting – Kickoff against Michigan, in addition to “striping the birthplace” is a blackout game for students and an alternate uniform opportunity for the football team.
Quote of the Day – “It’s all situational. Depending on where you’re at with a recruit, what else he’s doing in his recruitment. If a player’s only going to a take an official visit to your school and take all the other ones after the season, I’m not for it. If he’s going to take all in-season visits and you’ve got to get in the game, I’d prefer, personally, to have more after the season because you get to spend more time with the recruits, get a chance to build a relationship with them during the season. During a game week, it’s hard because you’re preparing your football team and it’s just not the same. But again, it’s all situational.” – Chris Ash on in-season official visits versus postseason official visits.