Rutgers Football Is Slowly But Steadily On the Rise
CHAMPAIGN, IL - OCTOBER 14: Head coach Chris Ash of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights is seen during the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Often the laughingstock of the conference, Rutgers football is finally beginning to climb their way back to relevancy. 

It’s time to make Rutgers great again. Okay, maybe Rutgers football was never legitimately great, but this is a program that for several years often played in bowl games and came within a few plays of appearing in BCS fixtures.

After moving to the Big Ten, Rutgers has unsurprisingly gone through a challenging transitional period, to put it gently. They’ve been the whipping boy of most major programs within the conference–often times against big dogs like Ohio State and Michigan, the Scarlets Knights didn’t just struggle to score points–they struggled to achieve first downs.

However, the program is beginning to turn a corner. The Scarlet Knights have won a few conference games in 2017, something they failed to do all of last season. With three more conference games left this season, they can add to that total and give themselves momentum heading into 2018. Their recruits will surely be taking notice.

Speaking of recruits, Rutgers recently landed four-star quarterback Artur Sitkowski. The 6’6 signal caller chose Rutgers football over Miami–yes that Miami. He is the first four-star to commit and could galvanize the rest of their class.

Considered by many as one of the top ten quarterback prospects in the nation, the Florida native gives the Knights the blue-chip recruit their program has been yearning for. Having already landed 17 other three-star recruits, Chris Ash is slowly beginning to assemble talent ready to compete in the gauntlet known as the B1G.

Rutgers may never enter the same stratosphere as programs like OSU, Wisconsin, Nebraska, etc., but with a coach whose background comes from a mammoth Ohio program, there’s reason to believe they can at least be formidable on the average Saturday afternoon.

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We have seen Rutgers go through this before. Greg Schiano took the program from complete irrelevancy to victories over top ten teams, multiple bowl games, near misses of conference championships, all while producing multiple NFL pro bowlers along the way.

Ash may not have the same level of success as Schiano, but he at least has history on his side. He can point to recent success of the Schiano era coupled with the numerous professionals the program has produced and promise ample game time to recruits that other top programs simply cannot.

Rutgers may not be heading to the College Football Playoff anytime soon, but better days are certainly ahead.

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