Dre Boggs

Five arrested Rutgers players are now five dismissed Rutgers players

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Moments before the first kickoff of the new season, Rutgers placed a well-timed public relations statement in the wild where it would surely be lost in the shuffle. In it, Rutgers announced it has dismissed five players recently arrested and charged with assault.

Nadir Barnwell, Dre Boggs, Ruhann Peele, Delon Stephenson and Razohnn Gross have all been dismissed from the program, effective immediately. Barnwell is the one connected to the ongoing investigation of head coach Kyle Flood with regard to alleged direct contact of a professor to discuss Barnwell’s eligibility. Stephenson was listed as a starting free safety for the Scarlet Knights. Both Boggs and Peele were listed as potential starters at defensive back (both appeared on the same spot on the depth chart with “or” between them). Barnwell also had starting experience with the program, which adds to the size of the dent in the defensive secondary depth for Rutgers. That means Rutgers is losing four possible starters from its defense.

Rutgers should manage to get by Norfolk State this afternoon, but the losses in the secondary will be a much larger problem in the coming weeks. Rutgers hosts Washington State next weekend, with Mike Leach and his Cougars always opting to go through the air. Rutgers will hope to have the secondary in better shape when it heads on the road to open the Big Ten season the following week. Rutgers visits Penn State, with quarterback Christian Hackenberg hoping for a bit of a rebound season this fall.

Rutgers moves second-leading rusher to cornerback

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Rutgers was dealt a potential blow to the cornerback position this week, so naturally the Scarlet Knights turned to the running back position for a replacement. Sounds logical, right? Rutgers hopes so.

Justin Goodwin, who was second on the team in rushing yards last fall with 521 rushing yards and five touchdowns, has been moved to cornerback by head coach Kyle Flood. The move was made because Rutgers has a serious concern at the position. Freshman Dre Boggs suffered an undisclosed lower body injury in practice this week. There is no timetable for how long Boggs will be out for Rutgers, but Flood is not wasting time t prepare for even the worst-case scenario.

Flood said he will not rule out moving Goodwin back to his offensive position but Goodwin will stay on defense through the end of the week before figuring out what to do next. Goodwin played multiple positions in high school, so it should not come as a huge shock to see Flood utilize the flexibility to his needs in this situation. There is a lot of youth at the cornerback position at Rutgers to work with. One potential starter, Nadir Barnwell, is also limited this week as he works through an ankle injury.

Rutgers ranked 122nd in the nation against the pass last season, allowing 312 passing yards per game in 2013.