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June 14, 2012The Rutgers football program has been streaky in recent years, in a good way.
The Scarlet Knights have won five straight bowl games, and today, for the fifth consecutive year, the program received public recognition from the NCAA for top academic performance for their multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores.
The Scarlet Knights are the only state university in the FBS to be ranked in the Top 10 percent nationally for the fifth consecutive year. In addition, Rutgers was the lone institution to win four bowl games while earning the APR honor in the top 10 percent over the previous five-year span.
Last year, the Rutgers football team achieved the nation's number two ranking in Academic Progress Rate while earned the nation's number one mark in 2010. Full APR scores for all teams will be released June 20.
"We're excited about it as a program," Flood said. "I think it speaks to a couple things - the quality of the student athlete we bring to Rutgers, the quality of the support system we've been able to put in place around them. We're really proud of the education that all of our students get here at Rutgers University and to have our athletes, specifically our football players, achieving in this way is exciting for us."
Flood, who has been a staff member throughout both streaks, is in his first season as head coach. He says the program's high APR rank is a major selling point on the recruiting trail.
"I think the APR is always important in every recruiting conversation," Flood said. "At some point, the parents and the players and people that are closest to the prospects, they always ask about it. It's something that I encourage them to ask everywhere they go. They should be comparing that just like they compare facilities and compare depth charts and all the other things that people use to make their decisions."
Director of football academic support Scott Walker has been an integral part of the Scarlet Knights' academic success and Flood offered ample praise for his dedication and commitment to the program.
"He does a great job and he's got good people under him," Flood said. "I think any time you're able to succeed on the level we've been able to, it speaks to the quality of the people at the top. Scott Walker heads that operation and he does a great job. He's a very valuable piece to the people we surround our program with."
Even while reflecting on the accolades his team received today, Flood hinted that the future could be even brighter, both on and off the field.
"Our players this semester had the highest semester GPA that we've had in 10 years and we're very excited about that because there's no reason why you can't have a national championship football program and also get a great education while you're doing it," he said. "That's the formula we try to use here at Rutgers."