Schiano Wednesday: D.C., MLB, Harrison, Etc.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers put the finishing touches on its short week of practice in readying for Friday's Big East opener against Connecticut. And following Wednesday's practice, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano spoke about the struggles to get the tight end involved, the middle linebacker depth, the development of receiver Mark Harrison and cornerback Logan Ryan and more.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers coach Greg Schiano has marveled at the physical tools of tight end D.C. Jefferson, but not getting the ball to the 6-foot-6, 258-pound red-shirt sophomore has been a source of offensive frustration.

However, it isn't because a lack of effort. Despite a ball not being thrown to the tight end in 34 attempts against Tulane, Schiano said plays were called to get him the ball. And the inability to throw to Jefferson isn't a phenomenon isolated to the last week's game.

"We tried, and people took it away," Schiano said after Wednesday's practice. "In the passing game, you can never guarantee you get what you want because if a coverage takes a guy away, or pressure …we've had 13 sacks, and that's 13 opportunities that the ball didn't get thrown.

"Plus, not to mention the scrambles ….there's a lot of reasons, I guess, but it's not lack of want to get the ball to him. We need to do a better job, I need to do a better job, of helping our team. He's one of our better guys. We have to get the ball in his hands, so how, some way."

Jefferson has two catches in four games.

Glaud's move
Schiano has been impressed with weakside linebacker KaLial Glaud's play in practice lately, but the loss of backup middle linebacker Jim Dumont to a season-ending knee injury forced the sophomore to move back to middle linebacker, a role he occupied last season.

Now, with Dumont and freshman David Milewski out for the season, Glaud is starter Steve Beauharnais' backup.

So, given two practices since Dumont's injury, is Glaud ready to play there if needed?

"No, but we won't have a choice," Schiano said. "If something happens to Steven, we're going to have to do it. We wouldn't be the first team in America that has a guy playing a position he wasn't prepared really (to play)."

Glaud was performing so well in practice Schiano was readying to award him playing time before Dumont's injury.

"I thought, actually, he was a guy you might give a series or two, if everyone stayed healthy, because he deserved it because he played that well in practice," Schiano said. "I'm excited about that because I've been waiting for that, but then you move his position, so now he's got new things to learn.

"But the team comes first certainly."

Harrison's maturity
Rutgers sophomore Mark Harrison's scored his lone career touchdown last season against Connecticut, and this season already equaled his 2009 reception total with five for 70 yards. But his gains may not be translating fully to production yet.

"I'm not sure the results have shown that big a difference, but I think we see it in practice, we see it in his preparation, in his maturity," Schiano said. "He's a gifted athlete. It's going to happen for him, like it is for a lot of these other young receivers. It's just a matter of when. It comes. Not everybody can be an instant ‘on' guy."

One of the issues Schiano talked about is the youth at the receiving position, where sophomore Mohamed Sanu and Harrison were the most experienced wide receivers entering the season.

"In a perfect scenario, you'd love to have these young wideouts with an experienced group," Schiano said. "Then, you can sprinkle them in and they run maybe two routes all week, and (the coaches) can groove them all week. …Again, it all comes back to it's my job to make sure there's not a void in any one year. Sometimes guys don't pan out the way you think."

Running Thomas
Freshman running back Jordan Thomas had a season-high 13 rushes against Norfolk State, but even with the health of running back Joe Martinek an issue the last two games, Rutgers has been careful not to overwork him.

"He's a young kid," Schiano said. "We're not looking to put too much on his plate. He can handle it. He's gotten a little bit more."

Ryan's development
Red-shirt freshman cornerback Logan Ryan received more playing time against Tulane, and that trend could continue against the Huskies. So far, Schiano is pleased with Ryan's development.

"He's a smart football player, he's a good athlete," Schiano said. "He can run. He's a responsible guy. He's only a red-shirt freshman, but he's got a maturity about him. I think that helps at that position because it's a lonely position.

"But there's a lot of stuff you have to get better at to be a guy you'd say is a big-time guy. But he has the ability to do it. He just has to improve."

Check back at 6 p.m. for this week's injury report


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