Top 25: WR Jeremy Deering (No. 22)

The countdown to the start of training camp continues with the latest installment of the Top 25, a daily feature focusing on the 25 most important players heading into the 2010 season. At No. 22 is receiver Jeremy Deering, one of the jewels of the incoming recruiting class. Deering played safety, cornerback, receiver, running back and quarterback in high school.

In preparation for his sophomore season, Rutgers receiver Mohamed Sanu is paying more attention to getting his body prepared for the pounding he will take as a receiver, "Wildcat" quarterback and punt returner.

In that role a year ago, Sanu touched the ball 130 times. Add in two kick returns and no wonder he acknowledged his body was sore at the season's conclusion.

Part of the reason was Sanu's talent allowed him to do many things, and part of the reason as the lack of someone else capable of taking some of the pressure, and hits, away from him.

Well, freshman receiver Jeremy Deering possesses those talents, and with a remarkably similar frame, and he is expected to play an immediate role with the Scarlet Knights. Because of that, Deering is No. 22 in's Top 25 countdown of the most important players for the 2010 season.

From signing day and beyond Rutgers coach Greg Schiano spoke about an incoming freshman who could be capable of doing things in Sanu's mold, and although Deering was never mentioned by name, the Leto High (Tampa, Fla.) product fits the mold.

Also, with Rutgers needing to fill out its receiver rotation behind Sanu, Mark Harrison, Tim Wright and Quron Pratt, Deering will have the opportunity to make his mark.

Sanu is 6-foot-2, 218 pounds. Deering is 6-foot-2, 205 pounds.

Sanu played quarterback in high school. Deering was a quarterback as a junior, passing for more than 800 yards and 10 touchdowns before switching to receiver and running back as a senior.

Sanu actually entered Rutgers as a safety, but was moved to receiver out of necessity. Other programs recruiting Deering to play safety and cornerback, but the Scarlet Knights valued his speed.

Because Sanu is accomplished coming off a 51-catch season, and after running for 346 yards and five touchdowns, the need for Deering to perform at Sanu's level is not urgent.

However, Deering brings speed, toughness, high character and maturity to the field immediately, and he could be used to relieve Sanu and keep him fresh.

As a senior, Deering rushed for 812 yards and three touchdowns and caught 13 passes for 265 yards and three scores before a collarbone injury ended his season in early November. The injury required surgery and was supposed to keep Deering out of spring track, but he was able to run a personal-best 14.2 seconds in the 110 meter hurdles.

How quickly Deering can assimilate into Rutgers' offense in training camp could determine how quickly he can make an impact for the 2010 season.

But the opportunity to make one exists for him.

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