Leonte Carroo, A first-year starter in 2014, has been ranked no. 14 on the Big Ten Top 50 list. He was named first-team All-Big Ten by nearly everyone – media, Phil Steele, ESPN.com – other than the league coaches, who picked Tony Lippett, Kenny Bell, Stefon Diggs and Devin Funchess as their first- and second-teamers. None of them are back.
So Carroo is on top.
He ranked second in the conference behind Lippett with 1,086 receiving yards, third behind Devin Smith and Lippett with 10 touchdowns and tied for seventh with 55 catches. He had six 100-yard receiving games, including five catches for exactly 100 yards against Ohio State.
The No. 5 player in New Jersey and the No. 206 prospect overall in the Class of 2012 according to the 247sports.com composite ratings, Carroo is exactly the kind of in-state player Rutgers must recruit to succeed.
A four-star recruit, he picked Rutgers over Cal, Penn State, Wisconsin and Boston College. He played at powerhouse Don Bosco Prep, which also sent former quarterback Gary Nova and star defensive lineman Darius Hamilton (No. 39 on this list) to Rutgers.
With another 1,000-yard season, Carroo will go down as the second-leading receiver in Rutgers history, behind only Kenny Britt. If he catches 76 passes, not unreasonable, he’ll reach the top five in Rutgers receptions. And the school record for receiving touchdowns will be his. He’s at 19 and record is 20.
But someone has to throw to Carroo.
Redshirt sophomore Chris Laviano has an edge on Hayden Rettig entering the preseason in the quarterback battle to replace Nova. Getting the ball to Carroo must be priority one for that winning QB.
Mel Kiper has Carroo as his No. 5 senior receiver draft prospect entering the season, and he has the size, hands and speed to make it in the NFL. First, he needs a quarterback to help him go down in the Rutgers record books.