Warm Up: Safety Position Analysis

That's right. It's March. And March in Piscataway means spring football practice is right around the corner. To help get ready for Kyle Flood's first spring camp as Rutgers football head coach, ScarletReport.com is here to warm up the football talks by looking at a variety of different topics within the program. Today, we break down the safeties going into camp.

David Rowe is gone after for solid years with the Rutgers football program, but there is still plenty of talent at the position heading into spring camp.

The biggest question, for now at least, is how the position as a whole will respond to not having a specific position coach. Greg Schiano and Jeff Hafley, now both with Tampa Bay, did a lot for the secondary last season and will have to be replaced. Look for defensive coordinator Robb Smith, and perhaps the final staff addition still to be made by Kyle Flood, to work with the secondary.

First Teamers

Senior Duron Harmon does not only fit into the first-team category at Rutgers, but also for the entire conference. Coming off an All-Big East junior season, look for Harmon to emerge as one of the top defensive playmakers on the team. Without Rowe's leadership at safety, it becomes Harmon's responsibility to lead by example this spring.

Behind Harmon, look for fifth-year senior Wayne Warren and sophomore Lorenzo Waters to battle for playing time at the other safety spot. Warren made a career out of special teams excellence and solid performances in dime formations, but his role should increase with Rowe gone. Warren does not have the same physical skulls as Waters, but is a hard worker with a strong grasp of the defense.

Waters got off to a slow start in his redshirt freshman season but finished with 10 tackles in 11 appearances as a reserve player. Spring will be a chance for Waters to move from a backup to significant first-team reps.

Keep an Eye on

Rashad Knight is expected to enter the spring at full health. His development has been slow and will benefit from a spring where he can slow things down and work on fundamentals.

Knight missed time in his first training camp, then he changed positions from cornerback to safety and then he broke his foot just before the season started.

He found the field for the final two games of the season, but has not had the opportunity to grow from a raw prospect to an impact college football player. With limited safety depth, everyone on the roster will get key reps this spring.

Scarlet Report Top Stories