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Rutgers Players who signed NFL Free Agent Deals



Oct 22, 2022; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back Christian Izien (0) tackles Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver D.J. Matthews Jr. (7) on a punt return during the second half at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL Draft concluded on Saturday following seven rounds spread over three days. The lone Rutgers player selected was cornerback Christian Braswell. He was taken in the sixth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, several other Scarlet Knights have signed undrafted free agent deals. Here is complete list that will be updated over the next few days as RU players sign with a chance to make their NFL dreams come true.

On Monday, JD DiRenzo signed with the Carolina Panthers. He started all 12 games between left tackle and left guard in his only season at Rutgers.  He was named the offensive MVP by the program and also played in the Hula Bowl.


On Saturday Christian Izien was one of five Scarlet Knights to sign free agent deals. He signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The three-time All-Big Ten selection finished his Rutgers career with 303 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, 19 pass deflections, 3 fumble recoveries and a block.

Aron Cruickshank signed with the Chicago Bears. After playing two seasons with Wisconsin, Cruickshank was named the Big Ten Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year in 2020 in his first of three seasons at Rutgers. The two-time All-Big Ten returner scored three special teams touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and five receiving touchdowns. Cruickshank finished with 2,598 all-purpose yards in his three seasons including 1,357 kick return yards and 868 receiving yards.

Sean Ryan signed with the Baltimore Ravens. In his one season at Rutgers, Ryan led the team with 440 receiving yards and three touchdowns along with 26 receptions.

Izien, Cruickshank and Ryan all played together at Erasmus Hall in high school before becoming Scarlet Knights together.

Ifyeani Maijeh has signed with the Seattle Seahawks. In two seasons with Rutgers, the defensive lineman registered 60 tackles, six for loss, two pass deflections, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and a block.

Avery Young has signed with the San Francisco 49ers. The two-time All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selection finished his Rutgers career with 326 tackles including ten for loss, three sacks and three interceptions. He also had five forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

We will continue to update this thread as more Rutgers players sign free agent deals.

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  1. thevinman

    April 29, 2023 at 10:17 pm

    Glad to see one Rutgers player drafted and several already signed as free agents. They have their foot in the door. Hope they can take advantage of their chance.

  2. DranktheRUkoolaid

    April 30, 2023 at 11:17 am

    Surprised Izien was not drafted. He was a beast at safety, had a nose for the ball, and always seemed to make a play.

    I hate to see when guys who still have eligibility do not get drafted.

  3. RU858

    April 30, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    What is up with Korsak? Experts predicted 7th round selection, silence is deafening. Could it be that no NFL team wants to take a chance on a rugby-style punter? Why didn’t Rutgers, his draft prep group help him transition to a more conventional style?

    • Aaron Breitman

      April 30, 2023 at 6:55 pm

      Yes NFL teams look at his unconventional style and don’t want to invest in his conversion. It’s not Rutgers’ responsibility to get him ready for the draft. I believe he was attempting to transition from rugby style but he’s unproven in that area now. I’m honestly not sure why he was ever projected to be drafted. Unfortunately I don’t think this is very surprising. Pro teams in any sport don’t like to change and his style would require different blocking schemes. His hang time was never his strength either and that’s a big part of being an NFL punter. Love Korsak but he is likely to go down as a great college player who didn’t translate to the pros.

      • RU858

        May 1, 2023 at 1:32 pm

        Thank you Aaron. I recall some mention of efforts to transition Adam to a more traditional punting style last summer, clearly unsuccessful. Must be a huge disappointment after all of the hype and expectation (Combine, draft rating, etc.).

      • DranktheRUkoolaid

        May 4, 2023 at 2:39 pm

        I think the take is accurate, but I just will never understand — Korsak was (and is) a weapon. Why can’t one of the lemming scouts see the gift?

        The Austrailian style of punting has been around for a while at the college level; someone should have broken through by now.

        Perhaps this style will go the way of the dual-threat QB. Around forever at the college level only to, finally, be an expectation at the pro level in the 2020’s.

        But one thing is for certain — it is undeniable that the reliability Korsak’s punting speaks for itself. (One touchback the last few years!?)

        Aaron, we need a scout’s perspective on the rugby style and why it doesn’t translate at the pro level.

        • Aaron Breitman

          May 4, 2023 at 8:35 pm

          It’s a good idea I can try. From what I understand blocking schemes on special teams would have to be altered to properly protect a ruby style kicker. That would be a major change. And they prefer big booming punts with hang time so their fastest guys can get down the field to defend the return. Korsak relies on space and momentum on the bounce. With better athletes, returners can reduce those things. I what was best for his pro future was to convert before last season and prove he can punt the more traditional way. If he did really well there would be no concerns.

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