PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Redshirt sophomore Kyle Monangai is now one of the leaders and upperclassmen of the running backs room for Rutgers football. It is a position group that has seen some significant changes this offseason.
First, Isiah Pacheco is gone, the All-Big Ten selection taking his talent to the NFL where he was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. And now Andrew Aurich is the new running backs coach, as he shifts from his previous role with the offensive line in a swapping of positions with Augie Hoffman.
For Monangai, who is expected to have a greater role in the offense this season, the changes are all good things. One of the new faces in the room is freshman Samuel Brown, a four-star running back who joined the program in June.
Oh, and Brown is fast. NFL caliber-fast. Cheetah fast.
Monangai has been impressed with Brown so far.
“Sam’s great. Yeah, he’s got a good head on his shoulders and he’s doing everything he needs to do,” Monangai said on Wednesday following practice.
Aurich spent the previous two years coaching the offensive line and now shifts to the running backs room. It isn’t an easy task for Aurich, given that Rutgers lost a running back in Pacheco who was arguably the best player on their roster a season ago.
Monangai was asked about how Aurich is settling in with the unit and his new role.
“So he was obviously the O-Line coach last year and now he’s running back coach. It is giving us a different perspective,” Monangai said.
“I’d say you know, the O-Line perspectives run game stuff. Pass protection stuff has been different too. And it’s good to get coaching tips from a different perspective.”