Forst Returns to Spotlight

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Through the spring and training camp, senior guard Art Forst was a forgotten man. But Forst did not lose hope and continued to work as hard as he could in practices. The hard work paid off as Forst overtook two others for the starting right guard spot.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Art Forst went from starting half of his games as a true freshman to fighting for second-team reps in training camp this season. Behind both Antwan Lowery and Betim Bujari to start the season, Forst's work ethic and mindset allowed him to leap both.

Forst earned a start against Navy and split reps with Bujari last weekend at right guard. After sitting on the bench for nearly a season, Forst is happy to be back but said he never lost faith.

"I just came to work every day with a positive attitude, trying to prepare like I am a starter and try to just make an impact where I can," Forst said. "I think that's kind of allowed me to [succeed]. It could have been pretty easy for me to say, ‘oh I guess it's not going to work out.' I just really hope that the younger guys can kind of learn from that."

As a true freshman, Forst started his first game while Rutgers stood at 1-4. With Forst at right guard and a series of other improvements, Rutgers went 7-1 finish the year.

As a sophomore and junior, Forst bounced between tackle and guard and eventually lost a lot of playing time as a junior as a part of the 61-sack fiasco that was last season's line.

"I think that I definitely was part of the problem," Forst said of last season's offensive line. "We all were part of the problem."

Now as a senior, Forst barely sniffed the field for five games, but coach Greg Schiano and offensive line coach Kyle Flood opted to give the senior a shot against Navy and they did not regret it.

The only personnel change on the line since Navy, Forst helped the offensive line hold opponents to one sack per game.

"I think the biggest thing is that, obviously, the situation coming into this year wasn't what I'd like it to be, but I think the biggest thing that I hope that the younger guys could have learned and continue to learn, something I can impart on them is, no matter what your situation is, there's really one thing you can control, and that's how you approach what you're doing and the attitude you have," Forst said.

The running game, still searching for a breakout performance, improved the last two weeks averaging a solid 3.7 yards per carry since Forst became a starter.

"There's times when we're a guy away from a big play in the running game," Forst said. "You guys see the ones that are the big plays in the passing game, but you don't notice the ones that should be 60-yarders in the running game."

Along with hard work and practice, Forst's positive attitude is a major influence on what could become a senior comeback tour with a solid finish in Big East play.

"Of course it's frustrating," Forst said on the beginning of the year. "But at the same time, ... the other thing is I kind of felt I had a great opportunity to help this program get better by watching and saying, ‘hey I saw this out there' and try to have eyes on my spot."

Forst has been a part of many offensive-line combinations in his four years at Rutgers, including starting alongside NFL players Anthony Davis and Kevin Haslam. The current line, Forst said, is improving weekly from the poor performances last season.

"I just think we have to become more consistent as individuals," he said. "Whoever it's going to be, we have to become more consistent and work together and get those reps together in practice and communicate better. Bottom line, execute better."

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