NCAA Football Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Rutgers Football’s 5 Most Intriguing Players Heading Into 2014

Rutgers Football’s 5 Most Intriguing Players Heading Into 2014

Rutgers Scarlet Knights Football 2014
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Although Rutgers' inaugural Big Ten season is still a few months away, the Scarlet Knights are already dealing with questions about their quarterback play, their readiness for better competition and whether they can keep their bowl streak alive. However, there are even more unknowns that will factor into RU's 2014 season. Here are five intriguing players who may offer some clarity for fans wondering who Rutgers could turn to this upcoming season.

5. Julian Pinnix-Odrick

Julian Pinnix-Odrick Rutgers Football 2014
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

5. Julian Pinnix-Odrick

Julian Pinnix-Odrick Rutgers Football 2014
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-5 Pinnix-Odrick, who is the half-brother of Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Jared Odrick, will finally get to see the field in 2014 after redshirting his freshman year and suffering an ACL injury during spring practice last season. Head coach Kyle Flood said he expects the defensive end to play a lot after a strong spring, which could be important with massive Big Ten offensive lines lurking on the schedule.

4. Justin Goodwin

Justin Goodwin Rutgers Football 2014
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

4. Justin Goodwin

Justin Goodwin Rutgers Football 2014
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Goodwin supplanted Savon Huggins for the opportunity to carry the rock last season after Paul James went down, averaging 4.7 yards per carry as a true freshman. While Goodwin will enter the season second on the depth chart, he should form a nice 1-2 punch with James that could invoke memories of Rutgers' 2006 season when Ray Rice and Brian Leonard spread scarlet fever across the state.

3. Nadir Barnwell

Nadir Barnwell Rutgers Football 2014
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

3. Nadir Barnwell

Nadir Barnwell Rutgers Football 2014
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

One of the Scarlet Knights' top-rated class of 2013 recruits, Barnwell was forced into action last season a little prematurely with Rutgers' lack of defensive backfield depth. But he still showed flashes of his potential, and the game experience gained as true freshman should start to pay dividends this season. Barnwell has been credited byt new defensive coordinator Joe Rossi for injecting "energy" and "a good attitude" into practices again.

2. Carlton Agudosi

Carlton Agudosi Rutgers Football 2014
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

2. Carlton Agudosi

Carlton Agudosi Rutgers Football 2014
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-6 Agudosi enters his redshirt sophomore season with the potential—and comparable measurements—to fill departed receiver Brandon Coleman's cleats. Agudosi has been one of the emerging stars of spring practices, using his big body to create space. While one would figure him to be most threatening in the red zone, Kyle Flood noted that Agudosi has transformed into a "powerful athlete" who can be "a weapon everywhere on the field."

1. Ian Thomas

Ian Thomas Rutgers Football 2014
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Ian Thomas

Ian Thomas Rutgers Football 2014
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas offers an interesting blend of drama and upside, as the cornerback showed good ball skills as a redshirt freshman last season before he abruptly decided he was leaving the program to pursue a baseball career. With the rangy 6-foot-1 athlete back in a helmet and pads, Rutgers will look to Thomas to help bolster its tried-and-tested secondary with a crop of physically imposing Big Ten wide receivers serving as the upcoming attractions.

Michael Briggs is a College Football Writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.