Spring Game Primer

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- It's been nearly five months since fans have seen Rutgers on the football field, but that will end with Saturday's Scarlet-White spring game at Rutgers Stadium (3 p.m.). The game will also be streamed on line, but before getting ready to watch it, here is a guide as to what to be looking at before the first ball is snapped.

The culmination of spring practice takes place for the public to see with Saturday's spring game at Rutgers Stadium at 3 p.m.

In all honesty, the game is a stripped down scrimmage in which many of the intricacies are pulled out since the game can be viewed by any coach of a team Rutgers plays.

However, there are some rudimentary things that will be on display, and will provide a direction and feeling for how things will look heading into training camp, and for formulating a basis for how much work the Scarlet Knights need entering the summer.

The game is open to the public to attending, and will also be streamed on Scarletknights.com.
(Be aware the stream of the game will not stay on the web site after it is completed)

So as you get ready to check out the game, here are some things to be looking for:

What To Watch

  • Make note of the offense and defense at the start of the game. Those are the starters coming out of spring practice, which means those are the likely starters entering training camp in August. The offensive line setup will be intriguing.

  • Check the lineup when the second-team offenses and defenses are on the field. The key for knowing the second-team offense is Caleb Ruch (#60) or Art Forst (#77) are the likely centers since quarterback Chas Dodd is expected to take reps with the first- and second-team offenses and the plan is for the first-teams to play against each other and second-teams to play against each other. That is the second part of the two-deep.

  • How Andre Civil (#66) moves at left tackle. Is he long enough and can he move his feet quickly enough to handle playing on the edge? Is he susceptible to a fake outside and then an inside move by the defensive end?

  • The blocking of tight ends Paul Carrezola (#89) and D.C. Jefferson (#10). Do they explode into the defensive end, or are they getting pushed back? And watch how Rutgers uses them in the passing game, and how often Dodd is looking for them (even if he doesn't throw it their way).

  • The blocking of the fullback. Whether it is Michael Burton (#46), Marcus Thompson (#48) or Sam Bergen (#44), having a lead blocker is something that was missing from the offense the last two years. But the running backs have to be patient and let the fullback do his job.

  • The running styles of Jawan Jamison (#23), DeAntwan Williams (#34) and Jeremy Deering #18). All three are distinct. Jamison has tremendous cut-back ability and change of direction, Williams finds the hole and runs tough and Deering has tremendous acceleration through the line of scrimmage and breakaway speed.

  • Defensive end Justin Francis (#91), who had a strong spring. He plays with high energy, and will need to develop into a legitimate pass rusher.

  • Depending on how often the defense blitzes, keep your eyes on strongside linebacker Steve Beauharnais (#42). He was very good at it as a freshman, but was less effective blitzing as a middle linebacker last season.

  • Red-shirt freshman receiver Brandon Coleman (#17) was dynamite throughout the spring because of his size (6-6), speed (sub 4.5) and hands. He can be nearly impossible to cover if he gets off the line of scrimmage

  • David Rowe (#4) at free safety. He is not the fastest player in the secondary, but he breaks very well on the ball and is tough.

  • Kalial Glaud (#13) is the new middle linebacker, and is responsible for the defensive calls, but there won't be many to make against a vanilla offense, so check out his ability to shed blocks near the line of scrimmage and run sideline-to-sideline to pursue the ball.

  • The guys not in uniform. Mending from off-season surgeries are receivers Mohamed Sanu and Tim Wright and fullback Joe Martinek. Being held out because of spring injuries are defensive tackle Scott Vallone, left guard Desmond Wynn and running back Aaron Hayward. Also, center Dallas Hendrikson will not play after injuring his knee and needing season-ending surgery.

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