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Rutgers loses play-making Janarion Grant to season-ending ankle injury

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If there was one player Rutgers may not have been able to afford to lose this season, it was Janarion Grant. Unfortunately for Rutgers, Grant has indeed ben lost for the season due to an ankle injury suffered Saturday in a home loss against Iowa.

Grant injured his right ankle on Saturday and returned to the Rutgers sideline on crutches later in the game. That was an ominous sign itself, but Rutgers head coach Chris Ash confirmed the unfortunate news on Monday when addressing the media. Ash did not reveal the specific details of Grant’s injury, but confirming he will miss the rest of the season is a pretty tough pill to swallow for the entire Rutgers program.

Rutgers will look to petition for an extra year of eligibility for Grant.

But wait, there’s more injury news for Rutgers. Ash also announced defensive end Quanzell Lambert will be out for the remainder of the 2016 season due to a knee injury.

Rutgers loses star WR Janarion Grant to serious-looking injury

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At first blush, it doesn’t look good at all for one of the most explosive and productive players in the Big Ten.

Late in the first half of the Iowa game, Rutgers’ Janarion Grant took a short screen pass and turned it into a spectacular 76-yard play.  At the end of the catch-and-run, however, Grant sustained what looked to be a serious injury to his right leg.

He could put no wait on the injured limb, and will not return to the game.  The extent and nature of the injury likely won’t be known until after the game, although, again, it doesn’t look good.

Grant currently leads the Scarlet Knights with 15 receptions, and is second on the team with 143 yards rushing. His 562 all-purpose yards were tops in the Big Ten entering Week 4 play.

As for the game itself, the Hawkeyes and Scarlet Knights are tied at 7-all with just under 12 minutes remaining

Ahmir Mitchell confirms transfer to Rutgers from Michigan

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In the middle of the week, it was reported that another Big Ten school would be the likely destination for transferring Michigan wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell. On social media, Mitchell made that move officially come to fruition.

In a tweet posted to his personal Twitter account, Mitchell confirmed that he has decided to transfer to Rutgers and continue his collegiate playing career with the Scarlet Knights. The New Jersey native stated in the missive that he found “it best for me along with my family to go back home.”

In an interview with nj.com following his announcement, Mitchell delved a little deeper into the decision.

“Throughout my entire recruitment, Rutgers was always within the top three,” he said. “For a while they were leading. It basically came down to the staff. And now that they have a better staff at Rutgers, that’s what made me basically want to come back home along with everything going on back at home with my family and stuff like that. So it just seemed like a good fit and every aspect just pointed back home.”

Mitchell announced a little over a week ago that he was leaving UM and reopening his recruitment. That departure from Ann Arbor was certainly an odd one, cloaked in uncertainty and secrecy.

Jim Harbaugh had confirmed earlier this month that two of the three Michigan football players not present for a team photo — Mitchell, running back Kareem Walker and defensive lineman Shelton Johnson — had been suspended, although he declined to specify which two. A couple of weeks later came Mitchell’s decision to move on.

A four-star 2016 recruit, Mitchell was rated as the No. 5 player at any position in the state of New Jersey and the No. 167 player overall on 247sports.com‘s composite board. He was an early enrollee who participated in spring practice.

Mitchell will be forced to sit out the 2016 season, and will apply for a waiver through the Big Ten that would prevent him from being stripped of another year of eligibility as an intra-conference transfer.  If granted the waiver because of extenuating circumstances at home, Mitchell would have four years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017; if denied, he’d have three.

Big Ten Network announces 10 primetime kickoffs

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A week after ESPN announced its Big Ten primetime slate, the Big Ten Network rolled out 10 games slated for evening kickoffs this upcoming season (which is less than four months away now!).

The BTN games are below, all of which are played on Saturdays. Kickoffs are in Eastern Time.

Sept. 3: Fresno State at Nebraska (8 p.m.)

Sept. 10: Iowa State at Iowa (7:30 p.m.)

Sept. 10: North Carolina at Illinois (7:30 p.m.)

Sept. 17: Duke at Northwestern (8 p.m.)

Sept. 24: Nebraska at Northwestern (7:30 p.m.)

Oct. 1: Michigan State at Indiana (8 p.m.)

Oct. 22: Michigan State at Maryland (7:30 p.m.)

Nov. 5: Iowa at Penn State (7:30 p.m.)

Nov. 12: Minnesota at Nebraska (7:30 p.m.)

Nov. 19: Penn State at Rutgers (8 p.m.)

BTN will also televise games Thursday, Sept. 1 (Oregon State at Minnesota) and Friday, Sept. 2 (Furman at Michigan State).

 

Rutgers LB Steve Longa says he’ll enter NFL Draft

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Rutgers linebacker Steve Longa told NJ.com’s Dan Duggan he will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft, ending a successful three-year run in Piscataway.

Longa tallied 117 tackles in 11 games this fall, giving him three consecutive seasons with triple-digit tackles (123 in 2013, 102 in 2014). The Saddle Brook, N.J. native’s 342 career tackles rank eighth in Rutgers history.

Despite Longa’s tackle numbers, he doesn’t rank among Josh Norris’ top 15 draft-eligible linebackers, though it’s certainly a deep and talented list.

Longa played his entire college career for Kyle Flood, who was fired following a 4-8 season. Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin was hired to replace Flood earlier this month, though he won’t get a chance to work with Longa this fall.