After a pit stop in another sport, Razohnn Gross‘ athletic career in Piscataway has come full circle.
Shortly before the start of the 2015 season, Rutgers announced that five football players, arrested a couple of days earlier in connection to an assault, had been dismissed from the program. Nine months later, Gross returned to RU athletics, albeit as a wrestler.
Another nine months later? Nj.com is reporting that Gross has rejoined the Scarlet Knights football program. The fullback is currently taking part in spring practice with the team.
The arrests of Gross and the others early last September was the result of what had been an ongoing investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Brunswick Police Department. The investigation initially kicked off in the spring following a reported home invasion in New Brunswick. Per reports, three men wearing masks forced their way into the home and left with an undisclosed amount of cash and marijuana as five students were held at gunpoint.
That was followed by the five football players allegedly attacking a group of individuals that left one of them, a student, with a broken jaw. That attack, reportedly (ahem) unprovoked, was directly connected to the incident mentioned above.
It was reported at the time of Gross joining the wrestling team that he was “accepted into a pretrial intervention probationary program last month” and, if he “stays out of trouble for the necessary time, his record will be cleared.” Gross has stayed out of trouble since; in fact, RU’s wrestling coach, Scott Goodale, has been effusive in his praise for how he has taken advantage of the second chance.
Matt Flanagan has officially moved on from one former Big East program to another.
In a missive posted to his personal Twitter account Monday, Flanagan revealed that he will enroll at Pittsburgh in short order and continue his collegiate playing career with the Panthers. The tight end is expected to graduate in May from Rutgers, meaning he’ll be eligible to play immediately for his new team during the 2017 season.
This will be Flanagan’s final season of eligibility.
The past three seasons, Flanagan played in 33 games for the Scarlet Knights. In that time, he caught 18 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns.
Flanagan also takes the student part of the student-athlete moniker very seriously. From nj.com:
The former Rutgers tight end told NJ Advance Media last November that his goal was to find a master’s program in a research-based science discipline. At the time, he called his decision “purely academic.”
At Rutgers, Flanagan is part of a select group of Rutgers students studying at the Aresty Research Center. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Flanagan spent three years researching with the hopes of publishing findings on the effects of Creatine — the same supplement made famous by MLB sluggers like Mark McGwire — and how it impacts the cells that synthesize bone.
At his new program, he’ll join a squad that doesn’t return any tight ends who have caught a pass at the collegiate level.
Former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand has made a career out of being Former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand.
Paralyzed during a 2010 game, LeGrand has become an inspiration to many in the years since, and now serves as a motivational speaker and as an analyst on the Scarlet Knights’ football games. He has picked up a number of awards and honors along the way and added another on Monday.
The WWE — you read that correctly — announced LeGrand has been named the recipient of its Warrior Award, which is “presented to an individual who has exhibited unwavering strength and perseverance and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of The Ultimate Warrior.” It’s given by The Ultimate Warrior’s widow, Dana Warrior.
LeGrand will receive the honor on March 31 as part of WWE’s WrestleMania weekend in Orlando.
“When you talk to Eric and when you’re around him, it’s really hard not to be blown away by his positivity and his demeanor as a human being; it’s just inspiring,” WWE executive vice president Paul Levesque, better known as Triple H, said. “Here’s a guy who has every reason in the world to be bitter and angry and yet he’s the most positive dude you’ve ever met. You can’t help walking away from him and just being inspired.”
“Paul’s assistant sent me an email on Tuesday saying Paul wanted to talk and wanted to schedule a call for Thursday. So I’m sitting here for two days wondering what Triple H wants to say to me. My heart was racing for two days wondering what this was all about,” LeGrand said, via ESPN.com. “When he called me, he explained the award to me and what they do at WrestleMania, and then he told me at the end that they want to present the award to me, and I honestly didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to react. This was incredible as someone who grew up as a fan since I was a little kid.”
Maybe the third time, this time at a lower level, will be the charm?
In early December of last year, Hayden Rettig became one of three quarterbacks who had decided to leave Rutgers. Nearly three months later, Rettig has found a new home, with the transferring signal-caller confirming to nj.com that he will continue his collegiate playing career at Tennessee Tech.
As he’s both a graduate transfer and a player dropping down a level, Rettig will be available to play immediately in 2017. This upcoming season will be his final year of eligibility.
“It’s a good fit,” Rettig told the website. “I think we can do a lot there. I love the coaches. I just wanted a place where I was needed, and Tennessee Tech was the place.”
Rettig, a four-star 2013 recruit, transferred from LSU to Rutgers in June of 2014. After sitting out that season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws, Rettig played in five games (one start) the next two years; none of those appearances came in 2016.
He was named Academic All-Big Ten following the 2015 season.
In opting to leave Miami in late January, Gus Edwards was restricted by the university from transferring to two of his top choices in Pittsburgh and Syracuse as they were on this coming season’s schedule. A little over a month later, the Staten Island native, who wanted to transfer and move closer to home as he was a new father, has found his new college football home in the same area of the country.
On its official Twitter account earlier Monday, Rutgers announced that Edwards has transferred into the Scarlet Knights football program. As Edwards will be coming in as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2017.
The upcoming season will be the running back’s final year of eligibility.
Edwards was third on the team this past season in rushing with 290 yards. For his Hurricanes career, the 6-1, 230-pound back ran for 977 yards and 12 touchdowns on 186 carries.
A foot injury suffered in summer camp cost Edwards the entire 2015 season. He received a medical redshirt for that season.