Rutgers has WR ready to fill in for Carroo vs. No. 1 OSU
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) As Leonte Carroo limped off the field after rolling his ankle while catching his third touchdown pass last weekend, Rutgers offensive coordinator Ben McDaniels had a simple question for Carlton Agudosi: Are you ready?
Agudosi was and he hopes to be Saturday – if needed when the Scarlet Knights face No. 1 Ohio State.
”I think the coaches knew I was going to be ready to step up if need be,” Agudosi said. ”I think they have confidence in me and knew I was going to come through for them.”
Carroo scored with 2:06 left in the third quarter to start Rutgers’ rally as the Scarlet Knights scored 28 unanswered points to beat Indiana 55-52. But with the star receiver in street clothes and a walking boot for the remainder of the game, it was Agudosi who helped spearhead Rutgers’ comeback.
Agudosi had three catches for 72 yards in Carroo’s absence, including a 40-yard grab to set up a 3-yard Robert Martin touchdown early in the fourth quarter. On the final drive, he caught a pair of third-down passes for 16 yards to help set up the game-winning field goal.
”It definitely was a good feeling,” Agudosi said. ”A good plane ride and a good bus ride home knowing that I stepped up when the team really needed me.”
Carroo’s status for Ohio State (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) is uncertain. The senior has said that he will play, but he was listed on the injury report as questionable.
Regardless, Agudosi’s mentality this week won’t change.
”I have a great week of practice,” Agudosi said. ”I have to prepare every week and every day in practice just in case he goes down or he can’t go or my number is called, so I just have to go out there each day and attack every day in practice and really perform well in practice so it carries over on Saturday.”
If Carroo is a go Saturday, Agudosi has made it clear he deserves playing time, following up a dazzling spring and a strong training camp with a solid start to the season.
The issue is Agudosi and Carroo play the `X’ receiver for Rutgers. Being behind Rutgers’ top target is nothing new for the redshirt junior. He spent the first couple years of his career behind Brandon Coleman, who now plays for the New Orleans Saints.
”When B-Coleman was here I was his backup. I had similar things going on. I had to come in sometimes,” Agudosi said. ”I’m not saying I’m used to it, but I’ve been in the situation before and I’m a much better player than I was back then.”
Agudosi has 12 catches for 180 yards and one touchdown this season after having just 10 catches for 111 yards and a touchdown the previous two.
However, his catches have all come in Carroo’s absence. Aside from the injury against Indiana, Carroo missed 2 1/2 games because of suspensions for a curfew violation and another for an arrest for an assault charge that was later dropped.
With Agudosi’s success in Carroo’s absence, the question now is how can the coaching staff get them on the field at the same time?
”What I would tell you is that all those positions (X, Y and Z receiver) are unique. And you have a certain amount of reps every week in practice to practice the things you are going to try do in the game,” coach Kyle Flood said. ”Carlton and Leonte play the same spot, but right now that’s not to say we couldn’t move one of them into a different spot to get them both on the field. All those options are on the table every week.”
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