Big Ten Rushing Leader Kyle Monangai Proves to be Top of his Class

photo by: Ariel Fox (@afox_14)

“Don’t stop until you succeed.” That is what Rutgers’ star Running Back Kyle Monangai has kept through his mind since he was battling out for the starting position at New Jersey’s very own Don Bosco Prep. Not many big time programs were interested in Monangai, who had trouble finding his groove at the high school level with four star Jalen Berger in front of him. Out of his 26 Division 1 offers, which included all but one Ivy League school, and all three military academies, there were only two Power 5 programs who gave the kid a scholarship offer. Only 8 of his 26 offers were from FBS programs. Rutgers and Cal were the only two Power 5 programs to offer, and with Rutgers being so close, Monanagai could not turn down the opportunity to stay close to home.

Now, the Jersey kid has surpassed the 1,000 rushing yard mark after a 118 yard performance against Maryland on Saturday. Monanagai currently leads the Big Ten in rushing yards, and is the first Running Back at Rutgers to reach the milestone since Jawan Jamison in 2012, 11 years ago. He also now has the most rushing yards by any Rutgers player since Ray Rice in 2007.

Monangai has recently been named to the All Big-10 2nd Team only falling behind top draft prospect Blake Corum of Michigan and TreVon Henderson out of Ohio State. This accomplishment marks a feat that not many Rutgers players have seen in recent years. 

There is still one more game left on the schedule, which will be a bowl game appearance at some point in late December. But after that, Monangai will have a huge decision to make regarding going pro or not. Running Backs in the NFL, as we know, have a very short life-span. So if he thinks he has proven enough to scouts, it may be time for him to prepare to hear his name called in April. Former Rutgers teammate Isiah Pacheco obviously made the correct decision of leaving a year earlier than he could’ve, so we’ll see if Monangai decides to do the same. If not, Rutgers will be ecstatic to have their guy to run it back one more time for his hometown team. Either way, Kyle Monangai has proved all of the doubters wrong.