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Defensive back Blessuan Austin to undergo knee surgery

Three weeks after injuring himself in the first game of the season, senior defensive back Blessuan Austin will have surgery on his knee — the same knee he injured last season which also required surgery.

“(Blessuan) will have surgery this Friday,” said head coach Chris Ash, according to scarletknights.com. “They're going to go in and look at his knee and (I'm) not sure exactly what they're going to have to do but they will go in and look at his knee and potentially have to redo his ACL repair.”

Last season, Austin tore his ACL in the fourth game of the season against Nebraska and missed the remainder of the year. Prior to that injury, he had played in all of Rutgers’ 26 games, starting in 25 of them. 

In 2017, Austin collected 12 tackles in four games and added an interception — actually against the Cornhuskers. A year before that, as a sophomore, he registered 41 tackles with one sack, an interception and a fumble recovery, good enough for an All-Big Ten honorable mention. Before that, Austin totaled 33 tackles, another interception and one forced fumble. 

Looking to get back on track this season, Austin’s rehab progressed quickly enough to the point where he was fully participating in training camp and was deemed ready to start the opener against Texas State.

Back on the field, Austin proved to be a menace once again and picked up right where he left off, recording three tackles including a sack and adding yet another interception. Unfortunately, it was on that play that he injured his knee. 

Austin’s talents have even drawn some NFL scouts to the Knights’ practices, and he was projected as an early-round draft pick this year. He even considered entering the draft last season, but decided to come back for his senior season.

“Honestly I did (consider it),” Austin said in May, according to an NJ Advance Media article. “But I made the decision to come back and it's definitely a decision I do not regret at all.”

With the remainder of his season in question, it’s unclear whether Austin has played his final game for Rutgers. He is, though, eligible to apply for a medical redshirt season for both 2017 and 2018.

“We haven’t had those conversations,” Ash said, according to the article. “That’s going to be up to Bless and what he feels is best for him. We’ll support him in whatever he feels is best for him and his future.”

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