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December 15, 2010
Here's good news for Rutgers' future: The Scarlet Knights had the top freshman quarterback, running back and wide receiver in the Big East.
Here's the bad news: Rutgers had one of the top freshman quarterbacks (Tom Savage) and wide receivers (Mohamed Sanu) last season, too, and the Scarlet Knights had their most losses since 2002 this fall.
Rutgers will hope for better next season, but other Big East teams enjoyed turnarounds, thanks to rookie contributors. Syracuse had freshman starters at left tackle, linebacker and kicker, and the Orange are making their first bowl appearance since 2004. Louisville is headed to its first bowl since 2006 thanks to a turnaround on defense led in part by freshmen Hakeem Smith and B.J. Butler.
Smith, a strong safety, is our Big East freshman of the year after playing a key role on a Cardinals defense that finished 12th in the nation in total defense. Our top offensive freshman is Rutgers WR Jeremy Deering, who had a 100-yard rushing day and a 100-yard receiving game this season.
Rather then bypass some deserving candidates, we decided not to necessarily be position-specific (i.e., guards, tackles, ends, free safeties, etc.) on our all-freshman teams along the lines and in the secondary.