Spring Lesson: With two new starters, this defense will really miss Joe Lefeged. The Germantown, Md. safety destined for NFL free agency played a ton of snaps, including special teams, and his athleticism will be severely missed by the RU defense.
Starters out of Spring: Senior David Rowe and junior Duron Harmon started the spring game and are the starters going into training camp with a large degree of separation from the rest.
Rowe spent last season as the top-corner on the roster, covering wide receivers like Jonathan Baldwin, but moved to safety in the offseason. The Cocoa, Fla., native made a seamless transition to safety as seen by his spring accolade. Rowe took home the most improved player award on the defensive side of the ball.
Harmon was the primary backup at safety last season and a special-teams speedster while playing as a true freshman. In a starting role in the spring game, the former Gatorade State Player of the Year in Delaware tied the first-team lead in tackles with five and recovered a fumble.
Got a Chance: No safeties are really out of the hunt for playing time this camp, but red-shirt freshmen Lorenzo Waters and Rashad Knight got the second-team nods at the spring game.
After red-shirting last season, the hard-hitting Waters hopes to make an impact coming into training camp. Knight made one of two interceptions in the spring game after moving from cornerback to safety in the offseason.
The other interception came from the most experienced member of the safety group, Pat Kivlehan. Now a senior, Kivlehan likely plays a similar role to last season where he made nine tackles as a reserve.
Red-shirt junior Wayne Warren returned to defensive back this spring. With depth concerns last season, Warren spent a little time as a severely undersized linebacker.
Needs More Time: Since ending up on the Banks after drama at Penn State, highly-touted recruit Darrell Givens continues struggling for playing time. Most of Givens' playing time is on special teams so far and he did not play on the first- or second-team defense at the spring game.
Schiano's Take: "I think (the safeties developed) well. Two redshirt guys we are talking about – Lorenzo (Waters) played the position all the way through since he came (to Rutgers).
"We moved Rashad (Knight), he played corner on the scout team and we moved him. I think he is a natural safety. I think he will be very good. I think Duron (Harmon) played as well or better than I thought he would. That's good. I think we have some young safeties that will be around for a good amount of time that can really play.
I think the guy that really jumps out at you as being a natural is David (Rowe). His leadership – and Duron's – will be critical over the summer with all those safeties."
Transition to Training Camp:
Transition to Training Camp: The Safeties
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