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Former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand to receive WWE’s Warrior Award

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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.”

Ex-LSU, Rutgers QB moves on to FCS school

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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.

Blocked from Pitt and Syracuse, Gus Edwards’ transfer from Miami to Rutgers is official

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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.

Ex-Rutgers QB transferring to San Diego State

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It appears one of Rutgers’ transferring quarterbacks has found a new home.

In late November, Chris Laviano became one of three Scarlet Knights signal-callers who decided to transfer from Chris Ash‘s football program.  Over the weekend, as relayed by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Laviano has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at San Diego State.

As Laviano would be coming to the Mountain West program as a graduate transfer, he’d be eligible to play immediately in 2017. This coming season will be his final year of eligibility.

Laviano had started 18 consecutive games for the Scarlet Knights until he was benched in October of last year.

In 2015, Laviano completed nearly 61 percent of his passes for 2,247 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The completion percentage was the best for an RU player since 2008, while the yardage was good for eighth in school history.

Overall, he tossed 21 touchdowns and 15 picks during his time in Piscataway.

Rutgers announces new six-year deal with Adidas

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Rutgers is ending a partnership with Nike and embarking on a new six-year partnership with Adidas.

Announced today, the new contract between Rutgers and Adidas will officially begin on July 1, 2017, at which point the current contract with Nike will expire. Adidas will provide all athletic programs at Rutgers with footwear, apparel, and accessories, which means Adidas will get a chance to see what they can do with the football uniforms.

“Everyone here at Rutgers is excited to be partnering with Adidas,” Rutgers Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs said in a released statement. “Our coaches and students know they will be getting outstanding apparel and equipment with which to compete. As important, Adidas will bring unmatched service to our programs. We look forward to celebrating much success together, both on and off the field.”

“We are extremely excited about our new partnership with Adidas,” Rutgers head coach Chris Ash said. We are committed to giving our student-athletes the best to help them on and off the field. Adidas is the perfect partner to outfit our players as they compete.”

The terms of the new contract (how much Rutgers will receive from Adidas) have not been reported at this time.

What the new Rutgers football uniforms will look like remains a mystery to the public at this time, although it is likely a proposed uniform has already been mocked up if the company is going to suit Rutgers up starting this season. Rutgers will be the third Big Ten program to have a contract with Adidas, with Indiana and Nebraska already under the Adidas banner. Nebraska has a five-year deal signed in 2013 that pays the school $15.53 million. Last spring, Michigan and Nike signed a $173.8 million apparel deal, making Michigan football the first team to wear the Jumpman logo on a football uniform.

Adidas also has contracts with Arizona State, Arkansas State, Central Michigan, East Carolina, Eastern Michigan, FIU, FAU, Georgia Southern, Kansas, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Miami FL, Miami OH, Mississippi State, NC State, Northern Illinois, Rice, Texas A&M, Texas State, Troy, Tulsa, UMass, UTSA and Western Michigan.