Kyle Flood will look high and low to get players to help keep the Rutgers Scarlet Knights competitive during their final run through the former Big East. He had some concerns following spring practices about a young secondary but will get help in the form of a graduate transfer before fall camp begins. Cornerback Lewis Toler is coming to Piscataway after graduating from the Western Michigan Broncos and will be an immediate impact player for Flood and the Knights in 2013.
Rutgers loses four seniors that contributed at least one interception from their secondary last season. Their only returning players to log an interception in 2012 out of the secondary are senior Logan Ryan, who nabbed four picks last season, and junior Lorenzo Waters, who had one. The absence of playmakers like Brandon Jones and Wayne Warren, who combined for seven interceptions and two touchdowns last season, was undoubtedly weighing on Flood’s mind this offseason.
Toler will help ease those concerns immediately. While at WMU, Toler started 36 of 37 games over the past three seasons and will add significant veteran leadership to help solidify the secondary in 2013. He comes to Rutgers with eight career interceptions, including three in 2012. The 5-foot-11, 189-pound, New Castle, Delaware, native will enjoy playing a bit closer to home as he finishes out his collegiate career.
For Flood and the Knights to have a shot at contending for the AAC conference title, the defense needed a little bit of a boost. Toler provides that for them and will prove to be a valuable addition to the program for his one and only season of remaining eligibility. But will he be enough to get Rutgers into the BCS one last time before bolting for the Big Ten?