Rutgers Limps Into Happy Valley With A Litany Of Injuries, Suspensions
This Saturday night, the Nittany Lions will take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the inaugural Stripe Out game. Penn State and Rutgers both head into the game with an on-field record of 1-1, but Rutgers’ record extends beyond the win-loss column as it heads to State College with an extensive criminal record.
Other teams in the Big Ten, including the Ohio State Buckeyes, Michigan Wolverines, and Iowa Hawkeyes, have had their fair share of arrests in years past, but none have had the kind of year that Rutgers is experiencing right now. Since last spring, Rutgers football has seen 11 arrests of current and former football players, with crimes ranging from driving while intoxicated to burglary, drug charges, robbery, assault, and even the possession of an unlawful weapon. The majority of the crimes committed had more than one football player involved and arrested, and according to NJ.com, one such incident was an unprovoked group assault leading to the broken jaw of a 19-year-old student, involving four current players and one former player.
Here’s a breakdown of the players and the crimes committed:
- Former player Tejay Johnson — Committed crimes including weapon possession and burglary with current players Andre Boggs and Lloyd Terry.
- Former player Daryl Stephenson — Charged in the aforementioned unprovoked group assault of 19-year-old student.
- Darian Dailey — A rising star on the practice team, Dailey was arrested and charged last spring for robbery with a deadly firearm.
- Razohnn Gross — Gross was charged as a member of the unprovoked group assault. Razohnn is a redshirt sophomore who was competing for the starting fullback position this week. His loss takes away depth in the power run game.
- Delon Stephenson — A junior and returning seven-game starter, Stephenson impacts the depth, leadership, and cohesiveness of the Knights’ secondary group, and was charged with the unprovoked group assault of the 19-year-old student.
- Andre “Dre” Boggs — Boggs appeared in 10 games last season with one start, and was expected to start for the Scarlet Knights this Saturday in Beaver Stadium. Boggs was charged with robbery, burglary while armed, and conspiracy to commit an armed robbery after he, Lloyd Terry, and former player Tejay Johnson broke into a home with knives and bats. Boggs also was charged with the unprovoked group assault.
- Nadir Barnwell — Barnwell was one of the players charged with the unprovoked assault, and he was also not playing due to being under investigation for academic ineligibility. If that sounds familiar, it’s because he kicked off the chain of events leading to Coach Kyle Flood’s suspension.
- Lloyd M. Terry — Terry was a redshirt sophomore running back who saw key minutes in Rutgers’ Quick Lane Bowl appearance last year. He was charged with the same crimes as Boggs and Johnson for the home invasions.
- Ruhann Peele — Peele has appeared in 13 games for Rutgers and has shown an immense amount of versatility. He’s played minutes at both wide receiver where he caught 28 passes for 281 yards, and the cornerback position where he played a physical game posting one sack, one interception, and 12 tackles. Peele was the other player charged for the assault of the 19-year-old.
Where Rutgers is going to take its hardest hit from on Saturday night (other than from Carl Nassib), is the loss of Leonte Carroo. The past two seasons, Carroo has been the type of receiver that NFL scouts look for. He’s quick, smart, and shows leadership. In his first season with meaningful minutes, Carroo put up 28 receptions for 478 yards. Next season, he broke out on to the scene and thoroughly impressed NFL scouts with 55 receptions and 1,048 yards receiving. Carroo was a hot NFL commodity but decided to stay one more year and further build his Rutgers resume. He was charged with the simple assault of a woman where he slammed her to the concrete and caused minor injuries. Carroo is a major loss for the Scarlet Knights and his absence is going to put a huge damper on the Rutgers pass game.
When Rutgers runs out of the gates on Saturday into Beaver Stadium’s roaring, striped-out crowd on Saturday night, it will definitely be short a few players. If there’s one good thing that came out of this for the Scarlet Knights, however, it’s that there will be plenty of leg room on the bus ride to Happy Valley.