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Rutgers players excel in NFL as postseason looms


Between 2001 and 2011, head coach Greg Schiano coached 83 student-athletes on the Rutgers football team who made the leap from collegiate football to the NFL. Here are several of them along with some more recent alumni and former players.

Devin McCourty — New England Patriots

McCourty was a part of the Scarlet Knights from 2005 to 2009. Throughout his career, he has played free safety and on special teams. He played 52 games, amassing six interceptions, 149 solo tackles, 238 total tackles and two touchdowns. 

He got the privilege to play with his twin brother Jason McCourty who played cornerback and is also now on the Patriots. 

Devin McCourty is currently a free safety on the Patriots. They drafted him in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He won the starting safety position in 2010 as a rookie. 

In his NFL career so far, he has won three Super Bowls (2014, 2016, 2018) while totaling 714 tackles, 21 interceptions and three sacks. This season, the reigning Super Bowl champions Patriots are 10-2. 

In the 22-28 loss to the Houston Texans last Sunday, McCourty had two tackles. He has 27 solo tackles, one forced fumble, 7 pass deflections and 5 interceptions on the season.

Mohamed Sanu Sr. — New England Patriots

Sanu is a Rutgers alumnus currently playing in his eighth NFL season for the Patriots. He went to South Brunswick High School in New Jersey before playing Division I football on the Banks from 2009 to 2011. 

In his three-year career, he played 38 games, amassing 210 receptions, 2,263 receiving yards, 653 rushing yards and 21 total touchdowns. In his eight-year career, he has played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons and the Patriots.

Sanu was recently traded to the Patriots for a second-round draft pick. He was traded on Oct. 22 after the Patriots offense was missing its top two wide receivers on the depth chart. They had made an offer to trade for him before the 2019 draft but the Falcons declined. 

During his last game, a loss against the Houston Texans he had three receptions for 14 yards. So far for the 2019 season, he has 33 catches for 313 yards and one touchdown with the Falcons, and 17 catches for 122 yards and one touchdown with the Patriots.

Kemoko Turay — Indianapolis Colts

The two-year veteran was drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Colts. Turay played for the Knights under former head coaches Kyle Flood and Chris Ash. 

He redshirted his freshman year and had 24 tackles, eight tackles for loss and approximately seven sacks during his rotational role on the defensive line. He was invited to the Freshman All-America Team after his impressive performance.

He would go on to dominating opponents for the next three seasons for Rutgers. After his senior year, he was invited to the 2018 Senior Bowl and the NFL combine. 

The young star was off to a great start at the beginning of the season as he had five tackles, 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble before getting hurt week five against the Kansas City Chiefs. Turay suffered a gruesome broken ankle. 

Tyler Kroft — Buffalo Bills

Kroft was a Knight from 2012-2014. During his three-year career, he amassed 70 receptions, 901 yards and five touchdowns. As a redshirt sophomore in 2013, Kroft started 12 of 13 games, including a career-best 133 yards against Arkansas in week four. 

On the season, he had a team-leading 43 receptions and 573 yards, along with four touchdowns, and was a first-team all-conference selection. After his junior season in 2014, he decided to enter the 2015 NFL draft. 

He was drafted by the Bengals in the third round, 85th overall and played as the second tight end on the roster behind Pro Bowl Tyler Eifert. He played with the Bengals until 2018 as he signed a three-year $18.75 million dollar contract with the Buffalo Bills. 

But, during the offseason leading up to his 2019 Bills Mafia debut, he suffered a broken foot during practice which ultimately ended his season. In his four-year career, he has 67 receptions, 661 yards and eight touchdowns.

Other Notable players in the NFL from Rutgers: Logan Ryan (Tennessee Titans), Jason McCourty (New England Patriots), Sebastian Joseph-Day (Los Angeles Rams), Duron Harmon ( New England Patriots), Clark Harris (Cincinnati Bengals) and many more.


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