Lions pick RU fullback Burton in fifth round

The Lions selected Rutgers fullback Michael Burton in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Burton never had more than 10 carries in a season at Rutgers, but he did catch 47 passes in his college career, including three touchdowns.

“Fullbacks, some people call them a dying breed, but they’re tough guys and I know that we’ve had a good history of fullbacks here, so we like his toughness,” offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said. “It’s a strong guy, smart player, tough, everything you want in a fullback.”


Tyler Kroft drafted by Bengals

Rutgers tight end Tyler Kroft was drafted by the Cincinatti Bengals in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Kroft was the No. 85 overall pick of the draft.

In three seasons with the Scarlet Knights, Kroft had 70 receptions for 901 yards and five touchdowns. In 2013, he was named first-team All-America after finishing with 43 catches for 573 yards and four touchdowns, his best season.

Kroft sprained his ankle in Rutgers’ bowl game and received rehab in order to be ready for combine. During medical exams, he re-injured his ankle and was unable to participate fully in the combine. He ran 4.67 40-yard dash at his pro day, with a 10-foot broad jump.


Rutgers Lands JUCO Forward Deshawn Freeman

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Rutgers has landed a commitment from JUCO forward Deshawn Freeman of Hutchinson (KS) Community College.

The 6-foot-8, 220-pound North Carolina native will have two years of eligibility beginning in 2015-16.

“Deshawn chose Rutgers because of the opportunity to play and contribute to day one,” Hutch assistant Jay Cyriac told “Greg Vetrone lived up to his reputation as a tenacious recruiter and was relentless.

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Contrite Rice gives advice at Rutgers spring game

USATSI_2496096_110579513_lowresFormer Rutgers running back Ray Rice told the Scarlet Knights to “not make the mistakes that I made” before their spring football game Friday in Piscataway.

Rice is seeking a second chance in the NFL after missing last season when video surfaced of him striking his wife in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel.

“If I can help them understand, then I’ve made an impact,” Rice told reporter Steve Politi (April 24). “It costs no money to give them a good message like that.”

Rutgers coach Kyle Flood invited Rice to speak.

“Ray made the wrong decision, and he’s held himself accountable to it, and he’s paid the price for it, and I thought today was an opportunity for him to deliver a message to try to prevent one of our young people doing that in the future,” Flood said.

Rice had no comment when asked by Politi about his NFL future.

Flood said that the quarterback competition will continue between Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig when camp opens next August (Rutgers, April 24).

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RB Desmon Peoples eager to keep improving

Rutgers running back Desmon Peoples isn’t ready to settle with his on field performance last season – even after his most productive year, combining for 579 yards with three touchdowns (, April 10).

“I really wasn’t satisfied with anything,” Peoples said. “I know I could’ve done better. I feel like I could’ve produced a lot more than I did.”

The junior stepped into the starting role for four games last season after leading rusher Paul James suffered a season-ending injury in September. But he ultimately fell behind freshmen on the depth chart in the final months.

“It made me want to work 10 times harder to be the best I can be,” Peoples said.

But even though he fell behind last season, he said he’s glad to see so much depth in the running back competition.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Peoples said of the running back depth. “We all obviously can play. We’ve played in games during the season. We have a lot of weapons in the backfield. So I feel like it makes us better as a team.”