A one-time favorite in the race to be the next Rutgers starting middle linebacker, L.J. Liston won’t even be part of the competition when it begins in spring camp. Liston was dismissed from the program Friday as announced by head coach Kyle Flood.
“L.J. is no longer a member of the Rutgers football program,” Flood said in a statement. “He’s currently exploring other options for his career as a student-athlete. We wish him well.”
The rising junior, who came out of Flint, Mich. by way of prep school, made 31 tackles in 22 games over his first two seasons at Rutgers but made it known during bowl prep that he had his eye on replacing the departed Kevin Snyder in the starting lineup.
“At this point in my life, I’m very focused on what I have to do,” Liston said. ” A lot of things have changed in my life.”
That did not stop Rutgers from adding immediately eligible one-year graduate transfer Kaiwan Lewis from South Carolina and junior college transfer Isaiah Johnson, both of whom are middle linebackers.
Liston’s sophomore season started with missing two training camp practices because he could not pass the preseason conditioning test and included a one-game suspension for failing to meet study hall requirements. He made his first career start against Tulane and a homecoming in the Quick Lane Bowl.
Liston left school on Saturday because he is expecting to become a father but he hopes to finish the spring semester at Rutgers before transferring closer to home, according to a NJ Advance Media report.