Position Analysis: Cornerbacks

Cornerback is the toughest position to play on defense, and it is a position the Scarlet Knights have gotten very good play from in the past. As ScarletReport.com continues its positional analysis, the future of the cornerback spot looks to be in very good hands.

The young talent in Rutgers' secondary is evident with a quick glance at the cornerback spot.

Senior Brandon Bing was replaced late in the season by converted receiver Marcus Cooper, and when spring practice arrives senior-to-be David Rowe, a two-year starter, should be pushed by a young group.

And with Bing the lone member of the group lost to graduation, the competition between Brandon Jones, Logan Ryan, Gareef Glashen, Rashad Knight, Rowe and Cooper should be exciting to watch.

Rowe is the veteran of the group. While he doesn't possess blazing speed, his understanding of technique and the defense allows him to play well.

Cooper, who is a third-year sophomore, was moved to defense during the spring, and worked his way up the depth chart quickly. He combines size (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) with speed and quickness, and showed he could tackle and wasn't afraid of physical play at the line of scrimmage.

Of the young players, Glashen and Knight are two potential headliners who had circumstances derail their chances of playing during the 2010 season.

Glashen was impressive early in training camp, but pulled a hamstring. By the time he recovered, he was far behind the rest of the cornerbacks and ticketed for a red-shirt.

However, in practice he showed an aggressive style of play at the line of scrimmage and his speed enabled him to excel in coverage.

Knight, who chose Rutgers over Michigan, didn't arrive until days before the start of training camp because he was finishing up school work to become eligible. Having missed the summer workout program, and with him not being in football shape when camp opened, it took time for Knight to work his way into condition.

His talents should start to shine during the spring, but there is a chance Knight could move to safety, where he played as a junior in high school. However, his first shot should come at cornerback.

Knight and Glashen were two of the headliners for the 2010 recruiting class, but they will be competing with Jones, who will be a red-shirt junior, and Ryan, who will be a third-year sophomore.

Ryan and Jones both had chances to supplant Bing during the season, but it came with uneven results as both had difficulty in coverage and tackling.

As for recruits from the 2011 class, Neptune (N.J.) High's Charles Davis could come in as a cornerback, safety or running back. Rutgers commit Jonathan Aiken, who is from Florida, would factor in, but his eligibility could be an issue.


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