Lakewood Ranch

Hometown Heroes | Palmetto's Josh Hicks provides bright spot for Rutgers during underwhelming season

Rutgers running back Josh Hicks, right, gains yards during the first half of a Sept. 19 game against Penn State in State College, Pa. ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO
Rutgers running back Josh Hicks, right, gains yards during the first half of a Sept. 19 game against Penn State in State College, Pa. ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO AP

Former Palmetto running back Josh Hicks was one of the few bright spots for Rutgers during its 48-10 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday, rushing for 15 yards on 72 carries.

The sophomore is quickly approaching 1,000 yard for his career with 511 this season to follow up the 440 yards he put up as a true freshman. Hicks has also scored six touchdowns this season.

Ferris State Bulldogs

With contributions from three former Manatee players, Division II Ferris State (Mich.) University continued its perfect start to the season with 70-19 win against Lake Erie (Ohio) College on Saturday. Wide receivers Antonio Agurs and Jajuan Pollock led the team with 112 and 74 yards, respectively, and defensive back Willie Smith recorded one solo tackle.

Sophomore defensive end Marquis Dawsey, who also played for the Hurricanes, is also a member of the Bulldogs.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Rodgers-Cromartie, a former Lakewood Ranch standout, continues to wreak havoc on opposing offenses. The Giants cornerback contributed to a pair of turnovers Sunday despite New York's 52-49 loss to the Saints, including one that led to the only defensive score of the shootout.

The corner picked off Drew Brees with the Giants trailing by seven in the third quarter and after New York managed to tie the game in the fourth he helped give the Giants their first lead since they were up 7-0.

Brees tossed a short pass to Willie Snead and Rodgers-Cromartie flew in to dislodge the ball. Fellow cornerback Trumaine McBride swept in to snatch the ball out of the air and run it back 43 yards for a go-ahead touchdown.

Rodgers-Cromartie is making a strong case for Defensive Player of the Year midway through the season. The defensive back has made 20 tackles this year, one for a loss, picked off two passes, forced a fumble, recovered another and scored two defensive touchdowns. Rodgers-Cromartie is the first New York player with three interceptions and two touchdowns through eight games since Spider Lockhart in 1968.

Kelvin McKnight

For the first time since his collegiate debut, former Manatee wide receiver Kelvin McKnight topped 100 receiving yards for Samford, this time in the Bulldogs' 20-17 loss to Furman.

McKnight, racked up 157 yards on six catches back on Sept. 3 against Central Arkansas, caught 10 passes for 101 yards Saturday, giving him 423 eight games into his freshman season.

Jonathan Dowling

Former Southeast safety Jonathan Dowling has bounced on and off the Dolphins practice squad and this weekend was released by the team. Dowling, who also played for former Manatee quarterback Willie Taggart at Western Kentucky, did not play in an actual game for Miami this season.

Ryan McMahon

Former Cardinal Mooney guard made his debut in a Louisville uniform Sunday for the Cardinals' preseason exhibition game against Division II Bellarmine University. The freshman sank a pair of free throws for his only two points in the 71-55 victory. His picture was also featured on the ticket to the game.

Head coach Rick Pitino has said McMahon will "definitely" redshirt for his freshman season.