After watching the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in 2016, it is clear that there were few bright spots for the 2-10 team. That said, fans of Rutgers football enjoyed at least one shining star in their do-it-all man, Janarion Grant.
The senior heads into this year on two separate watch lists for his talents. On July 10, The Maxwell Award Watch List recognized Grant for his achievements. The list places him in good company alongside players like Georgia’s Nick Chubb and Alabama’s Bo Scarbrough.
Grant added more anticipation for his upcoming season on Monday as well. The Paul Hornung Watch List named the receiver in its own collection of talent.
The Rutgers all-time kickoff return yardage leader returns from a broken ankle suffered on Sept. 26 while facing off against Iowa. To call Grant simply a returner would be a disservice to all he provides to Rutgers. Grant showed promise in becoming a more pure pass catcher, with three of his six touchdowns coming through the air. His return could mean a large role in a struggling passing offense.
This year, opposing kickers should still be wary of letting the ball touch Grant’s hands. The return game lacked the explosion which has earned him three Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week. Grant took back two returns last year, and only needs one to break the NCAA record.
Expect Janarion Grant to continue to churn out all purpose numbers and put that Devin Hester type of confusion on opposing kicking squads. He is on these watch lists for a reason.
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