Backing up Robert Martin and Gus Edwards could have turned out uneventful for the true freshman, but Rutgers running back Raheem Blackshear has shown he belongs. The scat back was a top-30 recruit out of Pennsylvania last year, scoring 17 touchdowns his senior year at Archbishop Wood High School. Blackshear ate up 102 rush yards and two touchdowns in Rutgers’ blowout win against Morgan State and, to the disappointment of some, only saw one carry against Ohio State the following week. Nevertheless, when the ball is in his hands, it’s clear that his speed makes him dangerous in the open field.
Perhaps the most exciting quality of Blackshear is one which both Gus Edwards and Robert Martin have already lost: Youth. The rest of this year should still be geared toward securing a Big Ten win, but getting the young players involved is just as important. When it comes to players like Bo Melton, Johnathan Lewis, and Blackshear, giving them time to progress can only help the program.
The three-star recruit chose to de-commit from Michigan State back in January and chose Rutgers the next month. Now the team’s third leading rusher behind Martin and Edwards, when he gets the opportunities, I think Blackshear is fun to watch. For him to be able to see time as a true freshman, considering his 5-foot-9, 175-pound frame, it seems he has been doing things right by the coaching staff.
Rutgers will travel to Illinois on October 14, and face off against a Lovie Smith-led team that is currently 2-2. Keep an eye out for Blackshear, as the Scarlet Knights’ offense will have more room to operate against this opponent.