PISCATAWAY, NJ – Freshman running back Justise Hairston (New Britain, CT) and senior cornerback Brandon Haw (Cheverly, MD) have earned BIG EAST weekly awards for the week ending Sunday, September 28. Hairston was named BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Week, while Haw earned Co-Special Teams Player of the Week honors. It is the first BIG EAST award for both players.
Hairston, in his first career start, carried 31 times for 161 yards and four touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter, to lead Rutgers past Navy, 48-27. Hairston’s 161-yard effort is the most since Jacki Crooks ran for 189 vs. Navy on October 10, 1998, while his four TD’s are the most since Terrell Willis in 1993. Hairston currently leads the Scarlet Knights with 299 yards, an average of 74.8/game. He shared the award with Pittsburgh wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who caught three touchdown passes and finished with 135 receiving yards.
In addition, Hairston’s 161 yards are the most ever by a true freshman in Rutgers history.
Haw’s opportunistic play on special teams served as the turning point in the game. Early in the third quarter, Haw returned a blocked field goal 88 yards for a touchdown to increase Rutgers’ lead to 28-14. Jarvis Johnson (Miami, FL) blocked the kick. It was Haw’s second touchdown this season and third of his career. He also returned a blocked FG 90 yards for a touchdown in 2002 vs. Syracuse and returned an interception 61 yards for a score vs. Michigan State earlier this season. Haw shared the award with Mike Imoh of Virginia Tech, who returned the opening kickoff of the second half 91 yards for a touchdown vs. Connecticut.
The Scarlet Knights (3-1) are off to their best start since 1993 and open BIG EAST play this weekend when they host No. 4 Virginia Tech at 12:00 noon at Rutgers Stadium.