Another 2017 Rutgers Season Preview

The world was one Rutgers football season preview short. But not anymore. Other rightings: Purdue, Indiana, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio State, Northwestern.

Where is the breathless Janarion Grant hype? After all the filthy shit he’s done on the football field the last few seasons, why aren’t more people around the Big Ten vocally excited to watch his encore fifth year? We don’t get it. He’s one of the best players in the conference, and the country. Who cares if Rutgers sucks? Of course Rutgers sucks. The more Rutgers sucks, the more incredible Janarion Grant can be!

After all, every time someone scores on Rutgers’ defense, we have a chance to see this:

Every time Rutgers’ defense manages an unlikely stop:

He’s Rutgers’ best receiver and running back, but may be most dangerous out of the wildcat:

He also throws for touchdowns:

We get to enjoy one more year of this shimmering diamond in the Rutgers, so don’t take Janarion for granted. A player this elusive and explosive isn’t in the league every year, much less playing for the shittiest team. So c’mon Big Ten media, get on it. Show some more love for Janarion. Here are some hot takes you can write today:

Janarion Grant is the best all purpose player in college football

Janarion Grant should be a Heisman favorite regardless of Rutgers’ record

Sorry Ray Rice, Janarion Grant is the best player in Rutgers history, and he doesn’t hit women

Janarion Grant would be the best base stealer in the Big Ten

Janarion Grant is the only college athlete who deserves to be paid

Janarion Grant is the wildest cat in Piscataway

Janarion Grant should replace Chris Christie

Put Janarion Grant on Rutgers in the Birth of College Football game in 1869 and Princeton is fucked

It’s not like anyone wants to read about Rutgers’ fourth-rate secondary or whatever perverse tactics Chris Ash is using as motivation. No one needs another season preview telling us that Rutgers is bad. We know. They know. Lovie Smith knows, and would prefer if you didn’t talk during his backswing.

Everyone knows. It doesn’t matter. Rutgers in 2017 is merely the Janarion Grant Show, and it’ll definitely be worth tuning in.

 

Best Case Scenario

The Janarion Grant Show becomes must-see TV. It’s a variety show after all, so he’ll score on a kick return, punt return, rush, pass, and catch by the time conference play starts. OC Jerry Kill will have no choice but to deploy more and more Janarioncat sets, and #1 will start racking up rushing yards and TDs, climbing into the Heisman conversation despite Rutgers’ 3- or 4-win season (including 1 in the Big Ten!). By year’s end, he’ll be a national name and pro teams will be salivating at the chance to draft the next Devin Hester.

 

Worst Case Scenario

There is no justice, Janarion gets hurt early again, nihilism wins, everything sucks, there’s no reason to watch Rutgers unless your team is playing them (and then it feels too much like a snuff film), and the Scarlet Knights go 1-11 with an overtime win over archrival Morgan State.

 

Most Likely Scenario

A watered down version of the best case scenario, until an overused Janarion gets banged up and sees diminished production in November, keeping him off the national awards stage but not the Big Ten All Conference team. Rutgers goes 3-9 and Jerry Kill lives to see another winter.

 

Did You Know?

Real Big Ten teams are expected to pocket about $51 million from the league’s lucrative television contract in the upcoming year. Rutgers is going to get….about a fifth of that. Which we actually feel is too generous, like giving everyone in the class an A and then giving the dumbest kid a serviceable D instead of expelling him for coming to school drunk and high, with his cousin Joey’s switchblade.

 

Fantasy Preview

Janarion Grant is obviously a fantasy deity who, if fully healthy, warrants a top 10 pick. If you’re more injury-wary, you may want to Janarion the side of caution and pass, or hope he slips into the second round. From there it should be a long time before another Scarlet Knight is selected; this offense got shut out four times last season.

Quarterback

Chris Laviano disappeared without a trace and is feared to be living in San Diego; Giovanni Rescigno is back after playing at the end of 2016. But the favorite to start is Louisville grad transfer Kyle Bolin, who lost his job to Lamar Jackson (no shame in that) after seeing action in 2014 and 2015. Whoever wins the gig is strictly backup material. You should never expect much fantasy production from a Rutgers QB or a Jerry Kill QB, so when you put em together…

Running Back

Jerry Kill loves three things: his family, drivin’ his truck on an open dirt road with the window down and a country tune blaring across the prairie, and pounding the ball with his running backs. Senior Robert Martin is the experienced starter and a fantasy sleeper if healthy, but Miami (FL) transfer Gus Edwards is impressing in camp and looks to have landed the starting job. He racked up 1,000 yards and 12 TDs as a Cane the last 3 seasons. Sophomore Trey Sneed may find the field as well. Freshman Raheem Blackshear and senior Josh Hicks will probably be buried on the depth chart.

Wide Receiver

Janarion is usually classified as a receiver, so if you’re like us, and count return yards, he’s the #1 WR in the league. Sophomore Jawuan Harris, a great athlete who also plays baseball, is Rutgers’ top traditional receiving option, but he’s nursing an injury that has limited his summer. Arkansas transfer Damon Mitchell, sophomore Dacoven Bailey, and 4-star freshman Bo Melton are unknowns unworthy of draft picks.

Tight End

Impress people at your next dinner party in Hoboken by knowing Rutgers’ tight end is named Nakia Griffin-Stewart. Just don’t plan on drafting him.

Kicker

Until Rutgers proves it can score/move inside the 30-yard line against Big Ten defenses and David Bonagura shows he can hit a 40+ yard kick, the senior isn’t worth a roster spot.

Defense

Don’t even think about it. In our punitive league, Rutgers’ D scores negative points most weeks.

 

Suggested viewing material:

More Janarion Grant highlights:

…plus some return highlights:

Rutgers losing 78-0 to Michigan last year:

An unshaven, not-joking Jerry Kill telling the press he hopes he doesn’t get fired after one season:

Image via Penn State/ CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0