Rutgers has brought important elements to the front line over the past few weeks. It makes sense that they would lose some along the way – and that’s a big deal. Raiqwon O’Neal has entered the transfer portal and will be looking for his next home.
O’Neal started 21 games at left tackle for the Scarlet Knights. He will immediately be very interested in the other programs of Division I.
He has two years of eligibility left. This decision is a bit surprising, but the Scarlet Knights have made it their business to build the offensive line this offseason.
Minnesota’s Curtis Dunlap Jr. is leading a group of four transfers that will join Rutgers next season. Mike Ciaffroni (Colorado State), JD DiRenzo (Sacred Heart) and Willie Tyler (Louisiana-Monroe) will also be there.
Dunlap Jr. will compete for a starting spot at guard while Tyler has a chance at a tackle. DiRenzo, an FCS All-American, also has a good chance to start. These four transfers will be accompanied by a talented recruiting class that includes one of New Jersey’s best players – Jacob Allen.
The NCAA transfer portal has essentially turned into a free agent period for college athletes. This offseason, Rutgers has taken advantage at times but has now lost a key part of the offensive line. This is in addition to the surprise decision made by Alijah Clark just two days ago. The defensive back will also be looking for a new home in the transfer portal.
Hollin Pierce is expected to return for the 2022-23 season as an established starter along the offensive line. Reggie Sutton is coming back from injury and hopefully regaining his form. Gus Zilinskas started in the center at the end of last season and is also returning. The same goes for Troy Rainey, who replaced Sutton and started the second half of the season.
The Scarlet Knights will need to rework the offensive line as a whole and still have some intriguing pieces to fill the position despite losing O’Neal.
For more on the offensive line’s expectations next season, here’s a full look at the position group.