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Rutgers adds another Big Ten transfer with former Wolverine Michael Dwumfour

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New Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano has been tapping the transfer portal to help build the roster in his first year back with the Scarlet Knights. On Monday, Rutgers added another Big Ten transfer to the program with the addition of defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour. Dwumfour transfers to Rutgers from Michigan.

Schiano confirmed the latest addition to the program on his Twitter account.

Dwumfour will be a graduate transfer, so he will be eligible right away for Rutgers this upcoming season. Dwumfour played 33 games for the Wolverines, including 10 game sin 2019 with four starts. He will provide an instant upgrade to the Rutgers defensive line depth and should be thrown right into the mix for a starting job this fall.

Notably, Dwumfour is a New Jersey native. Schiano’s hiring at Rutgers has certainly had a bit of an initial impact in luring some of the state’s and regional recruits on the transfer market. Earlier this month, Rutgers welcomed Brooklyn, New York product and former Wisconsin wide receiver Aron Cruickshank (HERE).

Wisconsin receiver Aron Cruickshank transfers to Rutgers

Wisconsin receiver Aron Cruickshank is transferring to Rutgers.
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Former Wisconsin wide receiver Aron Cruickshank may be leaving the Badgers, but he will remain in the Big Ten. Cruickshank announced he is transferring to Rutgers.

Cruickshank confirmed his transfer to Rutgers with a post on his Instagram account on Saturday afternoon. According to NJ.com, Cruickshank was making an official visit to Rutgers this weekend. The visit must have gone well because he announced his transfer decision on the same day. Cruickshank announced his entry to the transfer portal earlier this month.

This is a nice addition for new (again) Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. If the hiring of Schiano was supposed to entice more talent in and around The Garden State to want to stay close to home to play Big Ten football, then the transfer decision of Cruickshank is an encouraging start for the Scarlet Knights. Cruickshank is a Brooklyn, New York native, and Rutgers does love to attach itself to the New York metropolitan region.

Cruickshank appeared in all 14 games played by Wisconsin in the 2019 season, including all 12 regular-season games, the Big Ten championship game, and the Rose Bowl. Cruickshank was used mostly on special teams with 23 kickoff returns for 674 yards and two touchdowns. Cruickshank had one of his kickoff touchdowns in the Rose Bowl loss to Oregon. He returned four kickoffs for 194 yards in the game. He also returned one kickoff to the house earlier in the season at Nebraska.

Cruickshank will have to sit out the 2020 season due to NCAA transfer rules. That will leave the former Badgers receiver with two years of eligibility beginning in 2021.

Minnesota replaces DL coach lost to Rutgers

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After Rutgers poached one of his assistants a month ago, P.J. Fleck has filled that lone hole on his Minnesota Gophers football coaching staff.

Thursday, Minnesota confirmed that Chad Wilt has been hired by Fleck to serve as the Golden Gophers’ defensive line coach. Wilt replaces Jim Panagos, who left in mid-December to take the job on Greg Schiano‘s Scarlet Knights’ staff.

This is a Big Ten homecoming of sorts for Wilt as he was the defensive line coach at Maryland for two seasons (2014-15). Last season, Wilt held the same job at Cincinnati.

Wilt’s other FBS coaching stops as line coach include:

  • Army (2016-18)
  • Ball State (2011-13)
  • Virginia (2009)

After 12 wins combined his first two seasons at the school, Fleck went 11-2 in his third. It was the best season for Minnesota Gophers football since 1904.

Latest hire nearly completes Greg Schiano’s Rutgers staff

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Nearly seven weeks after he returned as the Rutgers football head coach, Greg Schiano‘s second first staff is nearly complete.

Wednesday, RU announced the hiring of Bob Fraser as the team’s linebackers coach.  This will mark Fraser’s fourth stint with the program.  In 1987, he was a graduate assistant at the school.  Then, he was a part of Schiano’s staff from 2006-11, including as defensive coordinator for the last three years.  Then, he was linebackers coach again in 2015.

The ties to Schiano don’t end in Piscataway.

In 2012-13, Fraser was an assistant on Schiano’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff.  Additionally, he was on the same Ohio State staff as Schiano from 2016-18.

“Bob and I have worked together for several years at different stops and it is great to bring him back to Rutgers, a place I know he cares about deeply,” said the Rutgers football head coach in a statement. “My faith and trust in ‘Fras’ as a coach and developer of men is unparalleled.”

This past season, Fraser served a coaching assistant for the New England Patriots.

With this hiring, Schiano has now filled nine positions on his 10-man Rutgers staff.  The others are:

  • Sean Gleeson — offensive coordinator (HERE)
  • Nunzio Campanile — offensive assistant (HERE)
  • Augie Hoffman, offensive assistant (HERE)
  • Tiquan Underwood — wide receivers (HERE)
  • Andrew Aurich — offensive line (HERE)
  • Robb Smith, defensive coordinator (HERE)
  • Jim Panagos — defensive line (HERE)
  • Bob Fraser — linebackers coach
  • Fran Brown — co-defensive coordinator/secondary (HERE)

Rutgers taps Robb Smith as defensive coordinator

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Both coordinators are now in place for Greg Schiano‘s second first Rutgers football coaching staff.

Earlier this month, Schiano plucked Sean Gleason from Oklahoma State to serve as offensive coordinator.  Tuesday, RU announced that Robb Smith has been hired as defensive coordinator.

Smith and Schiano are very familiar as the former served on the latter’s first RU staff from 2009-12.  The first three seasons, he was the Scarlet Knights’ special teams coordinator. In 2012, he shifted to defensive coordinator.

His positional responsibilities at RU were outside linebackers, cornerbacks, linebackers an the secondary.

Smith also worked on Schiano’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff as linebackers coach in 2012.

“Robb is one of the best defensive coaches I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” said the Rutgers football head coach in a statement. “We are fortunate to have him joining our staff. He works tirelessly to develop players and help them reach their full potential. We are excited to have him and his family back home.”

After the one-year stint in Tampa, Smith was the coordinator at Arkansas (2014-16) and Minnesota (2017-18).

“I am excited to be back at Rutgers,” said Smith. “We had great success our first time around together and I look forward to working with coach Schiano again to accomplish our unfinished business. My family and I are glad to be back in New Jersey.”

With this hiring, Schiano has now filled eight positions on his 10-man Rutgers staff.  The others are:

  • Sean Gleeson — offensive coordinator (HERE)
  • Nunzio Campanile — offensive assistant
  • Augie Hoffman, offensive assistant (HERE)
  • Tiquan Underwood — wide receivers (HERE)
  • Andrew Aurich — offensive line (HERE)
  • Robb Smith, defensive coordinator
  • Jim Panagos — defensive line (HERE)
  • Fran Brown — co-defensive coordinator/secondary (HERE)