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Rutgers adds FCS All-Conference WR Naseim Brantley



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Rutgers added its first offensive player through the transfer portal on Wednesday night as wide receiver Naseim Brantley announced he was committing to the program. The former Howell (NJ) high school star and Farmingdale native has one year of eligibility remaining.


Brantley excelled at the FCS level and last season led Western Illinois with 53 catches and for 893 yards and nine touchdowns. He was named offensive player of the year for the Leathernecks. In addition, he was named Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) newcomer of the year and was a First Team All-conference selection. Lastly, Phil Steele named Brantley a Second Team All-American.

In a game against Big Ten foe Minnesota last fall, Brantley had three catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. Against FCS national champion South Dakota State, Brantley had four catches for 107 yards. He registered four 100+ yard games in total while averaging 89.5 receiving yards in 10 games and 16.9 yards per reception.

He began his college career at Sacred Heart where he was a teammate of JD DiRenzo, who was a starter on the offensive line for Rutgers last season. In 31 games over four seasons at Sacred Heart, Brantley caught 82 passes for 1261 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. In 2021, his last at Sacred Heart, he had 25 receptions for 455 yards, averaging 18.2 yards per catch. He also returned 8 punts for 63 yards in his career. He earned First-Team All NEC offense honors in 2021 and Second-Team All-NEC return specialist in 2020.

New offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca and wide receivers coach Dave Brock add an experienced, big play receiver to the Rutgers offense. Brantley is 6’4″ and 200 pounds, so his size and physicality will give the Scarlet Knights a receiver with a unique skill set. His ability to catch passes in traffic and the red zone is a welcomed addition. Brantley seems poised to play a big role for the offense in the 2023 season.

While Brantley is the first transfer addition for the offense this offseason, he joins four other transfers on the defensive side of the ball: Minnesota safety Michael “Flip” Dixon,  Ole Miss defensive lineman Isaiah Iton, Northern Illinois receiver Eric Rogers and Akron cornerback Charles Amankwaa.

Here are highlights of Brantley from his career at Sacred Heart.

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  1. pj43

    January 26, 2023 at 9:44 pm

    Looks good on highlight film, although I had to turn off the volume to avoid getting a headache listening to the garbage some call music these days. Too bad there wasn’t any video to show from his last stop for comparison to SHU competition. He’s certainly got the size Rutgers needs for a hopefully improved passing game next season.

  2. BataliBoli98

    January 27, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    Based on what the WR room looks like, any addition has to be considered a plus. Like PJ43 noted, I obviously like his size and hope that, unlike so make of the guys who’ve been on the outside in recent years, he can get some separation. Basically, it’s a player who likely received some interest from other programs who decided that coming home was his best option. Time will tell. Go RU!

  3. Henry Rutgers

    February 17, 2023 at 2:36 am

    Welcome to the Banks Mr. Brantley. Aaron, i know how thorough you are but is he related to the Brantley we had some years ago (also a receiver). Seems like someone would have mentioned it if he was a legacy athlete finding his way home.

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