Rutgers kicks off spring practice this week, looking to build on the program's first conference title since 1961 with a bid to a BCS bowl game. Brandon Coleman, the team's leading receiver from 2012, will be sidelined for spring drills as he rehabs from a "minor procedure" on his knee, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood announced on Monday.
"We thought this was the best time to do that," Flood said. "You will not see him out there on the field."
Coleman recorded 43 catches for 718 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, bringing him within four scores of the school record for career touchdown receptions. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound junior already has a well-established relationship with quarterback Gary Nova, but he will miss out on the installation of a new scheme under offensive coordinator Ron Prince.
According to Flood, the system is not that different from the one the Scarlet Knights ran under former assistant Dave Brock.
"I think with the group coming back and the system not changing, the toughest decisions Coach Prince and the offensive staff are going to have to make are 'Where are the playmakers?'" Flood explained. "We know Brandon Coleman is going to be one of the elite playmakers in our conference and in the country, and with him not being available this spring that is going to allow others to step up. There will be no lack of opportunities."
Those other receivers include senior Quron Pratt, junior Miles Shuler, sophomore Leonte Carroo along with redshirt freshmen Ruhann Peele and Carlton Agudosi. Pratt leads the group after appearing in all 13 games and recorded 22 catches for 230 yards last season. Shuler (five catches, 71 yards) is the only other player from the group with game experience.
Flood also announced that defensive end David Milewski, offensive lineman Matt McBride, cornerback Nadir Barnwell and defensive tackle Kenneth Kirksey would sit out all or most of spring drills due to injury.