Rutgers-Navy: Players to Watch

Teams win games, but players make it fun to watch. Maybe fun hasn't been a word used to describe viewing Rutgers the first two games, but there are still a few standouts each week who make a difference. As the Scarlet Knights (0-2) prepare to take on Navy (1-2), let's take a look at impact players.


SB Shun White
The senior leads the nation with 196 yards rushing per game. White set a school record with 348 yards rushing in the opening 41-14 win over Towson and has seven runs of at least 20 yards this year. He has also reached the end zone four times and averages 12.5 yards per carry this year. His small stature is an asset when he takes the ball from the slot back position and cuts through the line

QB Jarod Bryant
Whether he's lining up under center or switching to a slot back position, the senior presents scheming issues for Rutgers defense. Bryant is a better passer than his counterpart at quarterback (59.1 completion percentage, two passing touchdowns), Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, though he is not as adept in the triple option as Kaipo. Whatever the case, Bryant forces RU to prepare for yet more looks than normal this week.

QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada
While he hasn't played a complete game this season, the senior is a threat in the option attack. Rutgers has been able to hold Kaipo to under 70 yards total offense the last two years and was able to intercept him three times last season. Kaipo is still getting back into game shape after a hamstring injury that sidelined him the first two weeks, so it's still unknown how effective he can be in this game.

WR Tyree Barnes
The speedy senior makes things happen when he touches the ball, as he showed on a 68-yard scoring reception from Bryant in the 41-31 loss to Duke last week. Barnes racked up 113 yards on four catches. He is Navy's only deep threat, but Rutgers has not yet shown the ability to protect against the long pass.


QB Mike Teel
Early disappointment surrounding the Scarlet Knights has to focus on its fifth-year signal caller. Teel has just one touchdown to five interceptions this year and has looked unfocused and out of control on the field. He is 45-79 (56.96%) with 506 yards through the air. Those numbers alone do not look bad, but the five picks are glaring. He needs to be accurate and run the offense with authority this week.

WR Kenny Britt
Opposing defenses have keyed on the true junior wideout, but Britt has managed to haul in 198 yards receiving in two games, including 109 yards against North Carolina on Sept. 11. Navy does not really have a defensive back that can match up with the big receiver out of Bayonne.

DEs Jamaal Westerman and George Johnson
The first defensive read on the option is usually the defensive end, so it will be imperative for Westerman and Johnson to stay focused and stay home. Pursuit is not as important in the triple option as maintaining your assignments, so these two need to lead the way for the linebackers and defensive backs to do their jobs on Midshipmen receiving the pitch.

SS Joe Lefeged
This kind of game plays into Lefeged's strengths as a ball hawk. However, the sophomore has to be careful not to get sucked in too far toward the line of scrimmage, or Navy will be able to go up top to an empty secondary on long passes.

RB Jourdan Brooks
Through the first two games, Rutgers has not shown the ability to hammer the ball like it has the last four years. The Scarlet Knights have been forced to go to running back by committee with Kordell Young, Mason Robinson and Young. However, Brooks is starting to establish himself as the man who can get it done between the tackles. The redshirt sophomore emerged as the man who can pound the ball, as he gained 42 yards on seven carries against North Carolina. Look for him to establish the run in this contest.

Scarlet Report Top Stories