Monday, April 28, 2008

Draft update: Rice to Baltimore; Zuttah to Tampa

-Courtesy of Rutgers University

– Two-time Rutgers All-America running back Ray Rice (New Rochelle, N.Y.) was selected in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. The nation's second-leading rusher in 2007, Rice rushed for 2,012 yards and scored 25 touchdowns in 2007 to help lead Rutgers to its third straight bowl and second consecutive bowl victory.

Rice was the No. 55 overall selection in the 2008 NFL Draft. It marked the second consecutive year that a Rutgers running back was chosen in the second round after Brian Leonard was taken with the No. 52 pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams.

"The Baltimore Ravens are getting a tremendous player and person in Ray Rice," said Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. "Ray proved at the college level that he was one of the elite players in the nation and I think he will have an outstanding NFL career as well. It will be exciting to watch Ray join his former backfield mate (Brian Leonard, St. Louis Rams) in the NFL. I look forward to watching Ray run on Sundays."

During Rice's three-year career in Piscataway, the Scarlet Knights won 26 games and appeared in three bowl games.

Rice's career "On the Banks" will go down in the history books as one of the best in Rutgers and BIG EAST history. In 38 career games, Rice rushed for 4,926 yards and scored 50 touchdowns (49 rushing). He is the second-leading rusher in BIG EAST history and the all-time leading rusher in Rutgers' history.

Rice became the first player in Rutgers and BIG EAST history and the 13th player in NCAA history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season with 2,012 in 2007.

In his final game as a Scarlet Knight, he saved his best performance for last, rushing for a school-record 280 yards and four touchdowns, including a 90-yard touchdown run.

Rice left Rutgers as the school's all-time leader in 100-yard games (25), 200-yard games (6), career rushing yards (4,926), career rushing attempts (910), career rushing touchdowns (49), single-season rushing yards (2,012 in 2007), single-season rushing touchdowns (24 in 2007), single-season rushing attempts (380 in 2007), single-game rushing yards (280 vs. Ball State, 2008 International Bowl), single-season scoring record (150 points in 2007), single-season all-purpose yards (2,251 in 2007), consecutive 100-yard games (8 in 2007), longest rushing touchdown (90 vs. Ball State, 2008 International Bowl) and tied the school record for longest run from scrimmage (90 vs. Ball State, 2008 International Bowl).

He is second in BIG EAST history in career rushing attempts, career rushing yards, 100-yard games and third in career touchdowns. He is the BIG EAST single-season record holder with 2,012 yards in 2007 and is the only running back in BIG EAST history to lead the conference in rushing in two consecutive seasons.

Rutgers senior offensive tackle Jeremy Zuttah (Edison, N.J.) was selected in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah, a two-time All-BIG EAST offensive line selection at Rutgers, was the second Scarlet Knight selected in the 2008 NFL Draft after Ray Rice was taken with the No. 55 pick by the Baltimore Ravens yesterday.

Jeremy ZuttahZuttah was the No. 83 selection of the draft and is the second offensive lineman in as many years from Rutgers to be drafted.

"Jeremy was a four-year starter for us and I know he will excel at the next level," said Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. "He is a multi-talented player and outstanding athlete who can play several positions. Not only did Jeremy excel on the playing field, he also graduated in 3.5 years. I expect to see big things from Jeremy in the NFL."

A four-year starter for the Scarlet Knights, Zuttah made 40 career starts, including 28 straight starts to close out his career. In 2006 and 2007 as the starter at right tackle for RU, Zuttah was part of an offensive line that allowed just eight sacks in 2006 (Fewest in NCAA) and yielded just 10 sacks in 2007 (Second-fewest in NCAA). He did not allow a sack over his final two seasons with the Scarlet Knights.

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