By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – With Brandon Coleman out for the spring, Miles Shuler saw an opportunity. More reps.
With three of the four top receivers graduating or off to the NFL, and the fourth on the sidelines for the spring in Coleman, Shuler had the opportunity to emerge as one of the receivers that can fill the voids left my Mark Harrison and Tim Wright.
Then he hobbled off the field towards the end of Rutgers’ second spring practice, causing him to miss some time with an injured hamstring.
“A little frustrating,” Shuler told SNY.tv of the injury. “Not being able to be on the field all the time with my teammates, but I just looked at is as an opportunity to get better off the field and really get my body back and learn the plays.”
Which can’t hurt considering Rutgers’ offense is under their third offensive coordinator in three years.
Throughout his first two years, Shuler has shown flashes, including a big scrimmage last August that looked like it could have been his coming out party. But Shuler’s never been able to put it all together on a day-in-day-out basis.
“[Head] Coach [Kyle] Flood always talks about consistency,” Shuler said. “I know I can play at that level. I just got to maintain that level and be consistent with it and come out to practice and prove I can play at this level every day.”
So how does Shuler do that?
“Just working. Keep working hard. Being consistent with everything I do,” Shuler said. “Right now I had a little setback with the hamstring, but when I get back I just have to get back and be mentally tough and just keep going forward.”
If he can do that, he can help Rutgers fill a large void.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder was listed as the starter opposite of Quaron Pratt on the pre-spring depth chart. It’s a spot he hopes to keep himself in position for come training camp in August.
After all, Rutgers needs someone to emerge.
“Somebody needs to step up,” Shuler said. “With all those guys and people going to the NFL, it’s a great opportunity for younger receivers to come up and step up or upcoming receivers to come up and step up for next year. ”