Storyline Central: Jefferson and Carrezola

One of the biggest changes during the spring campaign for the Rutgers football team was the addition of an "or" between the names of D.C. Jefferson and Paul Carrezola on the depth chart. Which tight end will win the battle in training camp? How much playing-time can the second-team tight end expect in key situations?

A year ago, a tight end battle in training camp would not generate significant interest. In the old offensive scheme, the tight end unit averaged one catch and 15 yards per game.

With Frank Cignetti taking over play-calling duties after leaving Pittsburgh in the offseason, the tight end position battle takes on a new significance. In the pro-style scheme, tight ends and fullbacks will take on bigger roles in the offense.

In the spring game alone, the tight ends and fullbacks combined for 14 catches and 213 yards between the scarlet and white teams.

Whomever wins the position battle between junior D.C. Jefferson and sophomore Paul Carrezola can expect a major role in the offense. Of course, the loser will still see plenty of action with the added significance of the tight end.

Jefferson won the starting tight end job midway through the 2009 season from Shamar Graves after he converted from quarterback, but did not make many improvements since then. After holding on to the starting job last season, Carrezola worked his way into a co-starting role after a strong spring.

Here is the tale of the tape:

Jefferson (R-Jr. 6-foot-6, 258 pounds) — Jefferson has double-digit starts under his belt, but under a new coordinator, experience is not enough for him to be the stand-alone tight end.

Jefferson has to prove this camp that he can do more than look the part. Jefferson has the body of an NFL tight end, but needs to develop more consistency as a blocker and as a receiving threat. Once Jefferson puts it all together, he can be a top tight end in the country, as seen by his spot on the John Mackey Award Watch List.

Career Statistics: 15 catches, 274 yards, 1 touchdown, 24 games

Carrezola (R-Soph. 6-foot-2, 235 pounds) — Carrezola, a former three-star recruit was the 22nd rated tight end in the country when he signed to play at Rutgers in 2009.

Since his arrival at Rutgers, it has been a slow climb to the top for Carrezola, but a great spring put him in-position to win a first-team job this training camp. Carrezola worked hard and paid his dues the past two seasons and could become a reliable guy for quarterback Chas Dodd this season.

Career Statistics: 2 catches, 18 yards, 12 games

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