Isaiah Johnson

Rutgers potential starting linebacker L.J. Liston dismissed from team

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As Rutgers prepares for the start of spring football practices, one player who had previously set his sights on winning a starting job at linebacker is no longer a part of the team. L.J. Liston has been dismissed from the roster, head coach Kyle Flood confirmed.

“L.J. is no longer a member of the Rutgers football program,” Flood said in a statement released by the university Friday afternoon. “He’s currently exploring other options for his career as a student-athlete. We wish him well.”

Flood provided no reason beyond any such dismissal. Liston has been one to cross a line under Flood in the past though. As NJ.com reports, Liston was held out of a pair of practices last summer due to not passing a conditioning test, and he was suspended for one game last season for failure to meet academic standards.

Although Liston had hopes of winning the starting job, Rutgers will still have a couple of options to work with at middle linebacker. Rutgers has added former South Carolina linebacker Kaiwain Lewis , a New Jersey native, as a graduate transfer this summer, thus allowing him to play right away this fall. The Scarlet Knights also padded the roster with junior college transfer Isaiah Johnson. Johnson is enrolled at Rutgers this semester and can participate in spring football practices.

Rutgers is scheduled to open spring practice on Tuesday, March 24.