Two years after arriving on campus as a highly-touted, four-star recruit, junior wide receiver Miles Shuler has officially left the Rutgers program.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior speedster's departure was reported this morning by Scarlet Nation and formally announced by head coach Kyle Flood shortly thereafter.
Flood said Shuler's decision to transfer was a move he discussed with the player and his father. Several options were discussed, but the Long Branch native ultimately settled on leaving the program.
"He's been a big part of our program the last two years and we wish him and we wish him success," Flood said.
Shuler appeared in 20 games in two seasons at Rutgers, including all 13 last season, with no starts. He totaled five receptions for 71 yards and rushed seven times for 67 yards while returning one punt for 23 yards, one kickoff for 17 yards and blocking one punt which led to a touchdown against Howard.
Had he returned to Rutgers this season, Flood said Shuler would have been a contributor.
""For us there was no uncertainty about he would have fit in," Flood said. "He would have had a fairly significant role here. That role would have been a combination of kickoff return, it would have been a combination of punt block. It would have been a flyer on punt and kickoff coverage. He had a role on offense. But in the end for Miles, it wasn't really the role that he was looking for. We discussed this but he felt like this was something that he needed to do and I respect that."
Running back Savon Huggins and Shuler had plenty in common when both arrived on campus at Rutgers two summers ago. Both were major national recruits who committed to the Scarlet Knights late in the recruiting process, capturing the imagination of fans in the process.
Now, two years later, as Huggins steps into his first season as unquestioned starter at running back, Shuler is headed elsewhere.
"I still got to give him a shoutout, but I only wish the best for him," Huggins said. "[I'm going to tell him] just be positive and keep God first and do the right thing and do what's best for you and your family."
Wide receiver Brandon Coleman has worked with Shuler first-hand for two seasons, and like Huggins, plans on reaching out to the departed wideout.
"I wish him the best of luck and I hope we stay in contact," Coleman said. "He was a great guy off the field and a great player on the field as well. I wish him the best of luck."
With Shuler gone, Flood said players like Ruhann Peele, Andre Patton and Janarion Grant could step into his role on special teams. In the receiving corps, Shuler had been bypassed by sophomore Leonte Carroo and Peele on the receiving depth chart but was slated to have a role on offense, one that could be picked up by Grant.
"It's not like he was a starter, so it's not like somebody really has to step up in those spots," Coleman said. " We're going to move forward as a team. Like I said, we wish him all the best."