Rutgers football’s Kyle Monangai has impressed running backs coach Damiere Shaw on and off the field

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — There is nothing left for Kyle Monangai to prove, the Rutgers football running back emerging last season as one of the top players in college football. That doesn’t lower the expectations though for Monangai ahead of his final season at Rutgers.

And for running backs coach Damiere Shaw, perhaps the greatest skill Monangai showed on his way to a record-breaking season at Rutgers was a mental and physical toughness. Those attributes impressed Shaw last year as Monangai looks to build on his breakout season.

Following a season where Monangai led the Big Ten in rushing, and played a huge role in Rutgers making a bowl game, there isn’t much left for the running back to prove. His 1,262 rushing yards are the most yards for a Rutgers running back since the program entered the Big Ten in 2014.

Shaw, in his second year as the Rutgers running backs coach, was impressed with Monangai’s performance last year

“He does a lot of things well, but here’s what I’ll tell you: Kyle was a very, very tough kid.- mentally tough, and the way he carried the ball and maintained his health the entire time – a lot of people can’t do that,” Shaw said on Tuesday.

:So I think the biggest thing for Kyle was his toughness.”

Monangai’s work ethic has been praised by head coach Greg Schiano. Several times last fall Schiano singled out Monangai as being not just the team’s best player but also their hardest worker.

Monangai’s resilience made him the perfect running back for Rutgers. His character very much align themselves with the core values of a Scarlet Knights team that Schiano repeatedly calls a “developmental program.”

Coming out of high school, Monangai only had two Power Five offers

“He’s obviously brilliant,” Shaw said.

“He’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever been around ever coach but he’s just a tough tough dude. He keeps going.

Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire