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Rutgers Receiver Brandon Coleman Headed to the NFL; Players Honored at Banquet

The junior is No. 2 on the school's career touchdown receptions list. He will enter the 2014 NFL Draft, and play his final game with the program in the Pinstripe Bowl.

The No. 2 wide receiver on Rutgers University’s career touchdown receptions list will play his final college football game Dec. 28.

Junior Brandon Coleman declared he will enter the 2014 NFL Draft over the weekend, the University announced.

The 6-foot-6 Coleman, of Akakeek, Maryland, has 19 career touchdown receptions. Overall, he has 92 career receptions for 1,743 yards in 38 games. He started 26 in his career.

He was named all-Big East second team in 2012, when he tied the single season school touchdown receptions record with 10.

After offseason surgery, Coleman played in all 12 games in 2013, catching 32 passes for 473 yards and three touchdowns, two of which came in the season opener at Fresno State.

Rutgers (6-6, 3-5) will play Notre Dame (8-4) in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 28 at Yankee Stadium. It will be the Scarlet Knights’ second appearance in the Pinstripe Bowl in three years.

In the team’s win over Iowa State in 2011, Coleman caught an 86-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chas Dodd in the fourth quarter of the 27-13 win.

Coleman is a two-time conference all-academic team selection and is one semester away from earning his degree, according to the University.

FOOTBALL AWARDS: Coleman won the Paul Robeson Award at the program’s 75th annual awards banquet Sunday night at the Hilton in East Brunswick.

The award is presented annually to the "individual whose performance, leadership and dedication on and off the field during his career has had the greatest impact on Rutgers football" and is donated by the Rutgers Football Touchdown Club, according to the University.

Senior wide receiver Quron Pratt, a Palmyra native, was named the football team’s Most Valuable Player when he earned the Homer Hazel Trophy at the same banquet.

Pratt caught 31 passes for 493 yards this season, and returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the win over Eastern Michigan.

Sophomore running back Paul James, of Glassboro, was named the team’s Offensive MVP. He was named first-team all-American Athletic Conference this season after rushing for 833 yards and nine touchdowns this season.

Senior defensive end Marcus Thompson and freshman linebacker Steve Longa, of Saddle Brook, were named co-defensive MVPs. Thompson had 5.5 sacks and 46 tackles this season. Longa was named a Sporting News’ Freshman all-American after becoming the first Scarlet Knight since 2005 to surpass 100 tackles. He had 111.

Senior punter Nick Marsh and freshman returner Janarion Grant were named special teams co-MVPs. Marsh averaged 40.3 yards per punt, pinned the opponents inside their own 20 yard line 21 times and recorded 12 touchbacks this year.

Grant returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown for Rutgers’ first score of the season, in the season opener at Fresno State. Against Arkansas, he returned a punt for a touchdown and set up the game-winning touchdown with another big punt return. He also earned all-American Athletic Conference honors.

Senior center Dallas Hendrickson and sophomore defensive tackle Darius Hamilton, of West Paterson, received the David Bender Trophies, awarded to the top offensive and defensive linemen on the team.

Junior defensive end David Milewski, of Sayreville, received the R Man Courage Award and the team’s Scholar-Athlete Award. The R Man Courage Award is given to the player who best demonstrates courage, belief, strength and inspiration to all while the team’s Scholar-Athlete Award is given to the player with the team’s highest GPA. He had a 3.879 GPA as a major in the Rutgers Business School, and had 31 tackles on the football field. He had a sack playing both defensive tackle and defensive end.

Sophomore defensive tackle Daryl Stephenson, of Sayreville, won the Most Improved Scholar award. Stephenson, a abor and employment relations major, raised his GPA by almost half a point and was named to the Dean’s List for the 2013 fall semester.

Junior fullback Michael Burton, of Long Valley, and junior strong safety Lorenzo Waters were the recipients of the Swarm and Finish Award, awarded to the player who exemplifies the type of consistent effort and intensity in best representing the Rutgers’ mantra to “swarm and finish.”

Burton caught 19 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns in 2013.

Senior long snapper Robert Jones, of West Caldwell, was named the Axe Player of the Year. This honor goes to the payer who earned the most Axe Player of the Week honors.

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