Meet the Staff: TE Coach Darnell Dinkins

Rutgers tight ends coach Darnell Dinkins brings a Super Bowl ring and 10 years worth of NFL experience to Kyle Flood's staff. In his first year as a college position coach, Dinkins discussed his excitement to join the Scarlet Knights on a Monday conference call.

Newly hired tight ends coach Darnell Dinkins has, by far, the least coaching experience on Kyle Flood's staff so far, but the 10-year NFL player brings professional experience and enthusiasm to make up for it.

Dinkins spent one year as an assistant tight ends coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after retiring from the NFL and joined the Rutgers program last week.

"It's been a blessing to come here and meet with Coach Flood and meet all the coaches," Dinkins said. "Being the youngest guy on the staff and being able to, not only learn, but then bringing the things I have learned being in New Orleans, being in Cleveland and knowing some of the coaches that were here prior, it's going to be a great opportunity."

What Dinkins lacks in coaching experience, he makes up for with a decade of NFL experience and a Super Bowl ring with the New Orleans Saints.

"I played behind guys in this system like a Kellen Winslow, like a Jeremy Shockey, guys who have excelled," Dinkins said. "I hope to be able to take the things that I've learned and the things that I will learn from these coaches and apply it to D.C. Jefferson and [Paul Carrezola] and all the other tight ends and be able to help them to be consistent tight ends here at Rutgers and be able to be like the guys who have played here in the past, some of the great tight ends we've had here in the past."

With Brian Angelicho gone to the NFL, Flood expects Dinkins to successfully step in to continue the development of his tight ends. Dinkins does not have experience as a recruiter, but has ties to Pennsylvania dating back to his time playing for Pittsburgh.

"He brings a wealth of experience into our tight end position," Flood said. "To mentor a guy like D.C. Jefferson, a guy like Paul Carrezola. He's somebody that played that position. I didn't know this until the interview, he actually made the transition to that position from the quarterback position just like D.C. did. That was a nice unintended consequence of the hiring."

Dinkins began his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but truly broke in during 2002 and 2003 with the New York Giants. In his career, Dinkins totaled 25 catches and three touchdowns.

"One thing I hope to be able to do is instill a positive work ethic in these kids," Dinkins said. "That's one thing that I always was able to do as a pro and it's going to be consistent, never-ending self improvement with us. That's what I did when I was with the Giants. I came in, I worked hard and I gave myself the ability to make plays. With all the tight ends that we have, I'm going to give them the ability to make plays on the football field based upon what I've done and what I know has worked."

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