NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – In attempt to restore the Rutgers football team to the success it enjoyed in the early 2000s, Coach Greg Schiano has hired a former player from that era to join his coaching staff.
Tiquan Underwood, a New Brunswick native and four-year letter winner for the Scarlet Knights from 2005-08, has been hired as wide receivers coach.
Underwood holds the program record for receiving yards in a game and spent five seasons in the NFL. He spent the 2019 season working on the Miami Dolphins' staff as a quality control coach.
“I am excited to welcome Tiquan back home to Rutgers,” Schiano said. “He had a great career and played an integral role in the success we were able to achieve. Watching him grow as a player and now as an up-and-coming coach has been a blessing. Tiquan understands the culture of this program and what it takes to be successful here. Tiquan will be an elite teacher and mentor for our wide receivers and our entire team.”
“It is an amazing feeling for me and my family to come back home,” said Underwood. “Coach Schiano offered me the opportunity to represent New Jersey and be part of building the pride for Rutgers football. To have the chance to do it now as a coach is a dream come true. He helped shape me into the man I am today, and I look forward to playing that same role for my fellow Scarlet Knights.”
Underwood spent five years in the NFL with Jacksonville (2009-10), New England (2011) and Tampa Bay (2012-13). He played in 45 career games with 10 starts and caught 63 passes for 1,006 yards and six touchdowns. The wide receiver was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the seventh round (253rd overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft.
He also played three seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2015-16) and Montreal Allouettes (2016-17). He appeared in 32 games in his CFL career, catching 87 passes for 1,320 yards and six touchdowns.
Underwood began his coaching career working with the wide receivers at Lafayette in 2018. He helped mentor Nick Pearson to earn Second Team All-Patriot League honors by leading the team in receiving with 41 receptions for 592 yards.
Underwood played in 50 games for the Scarlet Knights from 2005-08 and totaled 16 receiving touchdowns (tied for seventh in program history), 132 receptions (ninth in program history) and 1,931 receiving yards (10th in program history). He also sits seventh in the RU record book with six career 100-yard games, highlighted by a school-record 248 yards versus Buffalo in 2007.
Underwood totaled 1,100 receiving yards on 65 receptions with seven touchdowns in 2007 to earn First Team All-Big East status. He was part of the first unit in college football history to have a 3,000-yard passer, a 2,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers in the same season. The Scarlet Knights set school records for scoring (426), first downs (294) and total offense (5,841) that year, which ended with a 52-30 triumph over Ball State in the International Bowl. In addition, Underwood had a pair of touchdowns in the win versus No. 2 USF, the highest ranked victory in Rutgers football history.
Underwood served as a captain for the 2008 squad that ended the season with seven consecutive wins, including the PapaJohns.com Bowl over NC State, after starting 1-5. He totaled five touchdowns on 40 catches.
A standout at Notre Dame High School, Underwood saw action immediately as a true freshman for the Scarlet Knights in 2005. He played in all 12 games, which included returning kickoffs with a long of 59 yards. The team went 7-5 for the program’s first winning season since 1992 and earned a trip to the Insight Bowl, RU’s first bowl appearance since 1978.
Underwood followed up earning a starting spot on the 2006 team went 11-2 and soared as high as No. 7 in the national rankings. He contributed 23 receptions for 290 yards and four scores.