By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY - After two disappointing seasons, Ike Holmes was finally coming into his own. He’d gone from a highly touted recruit to anonymity. That was until this past spring when Holmes emerged as the starter and carried that momentum into the season.
Now, Holmes season gets cut short by a wrist injury that apparently occurred during the Arkansas game.
“Ike Holmes is going to be out for the season,” head coach Kyle Flood said following today’s practice. “His wrist injury is a little more serious than we had expected initially. We’re disappointed that this had happened to him because he was having a nice year for us.”
Holmes had nine tackles and one and a half tackles for a loss, but his numbers don’t tell the full story.
“He was being real productive in terms of holding double teams up,” defensive lineman Scott Vallone said. “He was demanding double teams which any good nose guard should accompany himself with and I think he was doing a good job of maintaining his ground when he was taking those double teams.”
Vallone will have to help fill that role. He’ll now have to take a few more reps at nose tackle after mainly seeing times at the three technique. However, Rutgers will play musical chairs along the defensive line. Michael Larrow, returns this week and can play multiple positions on the line, as can Kenneth Kirksey. Defensive end Marvin Booker (lower leg) is expected to return this week.
Unfortunately for the Scarlet Knights, it doesn’t appear that they’ll be getting defensive lineman Al Page (lower leg) back anytime soon. Or even this season.
“I don’t know if we expect Al Page back,” Flood said. “Right now it’s certainly longer than we have hoped already and we’re exploring a couple different options.”
As for running back Savon Huggins – who participated in contact for the first time since his injury against Howard – Flood was happy with what he saw.
“It was good to see him running at full speed,” Flood said. “He looked healthy. It was nice.”