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Ian Strong showcases skill set with two impressive catches in debut



Ian Strong makes a tough catch in training camp. Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

True freshman Ian Strong had a promising collegiate debut in the win over Northwestern. While he only had two catches, they both were impressive and showcased his full skill set as a wide receiver.

The first catch was the tremendous touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone. Strong was able to go up and get the pass from quarterback Gavin Wimsatt while maintaining body control to get his left toe inbounds to complete the touchdown catch.

His second catch was a diving grab that showed his ability to react and utilize his athleticism in a different way.

“Ian is strong, true freshman, St. Anthony’s High School out in Long Island. I think he is really a future bright, bright prospect,” Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said after the win. “In training camp, he didn’t miss a practice. He just worked his tail off every day, and Coach Brock has done a very good job bringing him along. Coach Brock is a seasoned veteran. He didn’t put too much on his plate at first and then just kept loading him up. I’m encouraged there.”

After a solid spring camp and standout preseason, it was great to see Strong make an instant impact for the offense on Sunday. I think what we saw from him in his debut is just scratching the surface of his full potential. It’s likely that Wimsatt and Strong will develop a stronger connection as time progresses which is an exciting possibility for the Rutgers offense.

Watch Strong’s two catches and my quick analysis on his potential as a receiver for Rutgers.


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  1. pj43

    September 4, 2023 at 12:41 pm

    Strong is an example of the young talent Schiano has been successful bringing in, i.e. players who have the size, ability and potential to play in the Big Ten.  The coaching staff that he’s assembled has the teaching ability, experience and overall developmental skillset that fits Schiano’s vision for this program.  Going into this season the only question in my mind was would we see enough of that young talent development reflected this season to make a meaningful contribution or is it a year away? 
    I love what Schiano had to say in describing how Brock is bringing Strong along.  Multiply that by what Ciarrocca, Flaherty etc are doing with the other young talent being assembled and there’s reason to expect more pleasant surprises as the season progresses.  Will there be enough progress quickly enough to produce 6 wins and a Bowl invite this season?  I dunno, but it would be nice in terms of recruiting the ’25 class.  Regardless, this program is “coming” as the “Prime Time” coach of CO would say.  

    • thevinman

      September 4, 2023 at 1:13 pm

      It sure gives me hope that the Young players will develop under the new experienced offensive staff.

      As far as bowl games, getting the win over Northwestern is a big first step as it was hard to see how we could get to 6 wins if we lost to them.

  2. thevinman

    September 4, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    That TD pass Strong caught was a thing of beauty and one of the best catches by a Rutgers WR that I have seen in a long long time.

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