Two-Deep Breakdown: LB Kevin Snyder

Spring camp is over and the Rutgers football team is back on campus for summer classes and workouts. Coming out of the spring, is here to individually break down every expected member of the summer two-deep. Today, we continue momentum toward camp with a look at linebacker Kevin Snyder.

Taking an in-depth, individual look at the key members of the roster, today looks at sophomore Kevin Snyder, who will compete for the starting strongside linebacker spot and is the current backup middle linebacker.

Past Experience — Snyder's athleticism earned him playing time as a true freshman, where he was valuable linebacker off the bench for the Scarlet Knights. He did not start any games as a true freshman, but finished ninth on the team with 40 tackles and played in all 13 contests.

As a Recruit — Snyder was an underrated acquisition for former coach Greg Schiano in his final recruiting class. Snyder ranked in as the No. 79 outside linebacker in the Class of 2011 and was a three-star recruit with impressive athleticism.

He committed to Rutgers in May of his junior year on the same day as fellow linebacker Quentin Gause. Snyder chose Rutgers over offers from Iowa, West Virginia and Army.

Spring Performance — Snyder had one of the most impressive springs for a young player because of the versatility displayed at his position. Still in his first year with the program, the Mechanicsburg, Pa., native piled up repetitions at all three linebacker roles.

Depth at linebacker is a key concern for the Scarlet Knights going into training camp and Snyder showed during 15 spring practices that he can contribute at any of the three positions. He worked primarily at weakside linebacker with start Khaseem Greene (leg) out, but also saw time behind Steve Beauharnais in the middle and alongside Jamal Merrell at the strong position, where he played last season as a true freshman.

Does Well — He has a good head on his shoulders and brings the type of athleticism to outside linebacker that often leads to an NFL career. Snyder moves very well from side to side and embraces contact and the chance to work close to the line of scrimmage or penetrate the backfield.

The versatility he displayed this spring will be his most important asset going into his sophomore season, showing new defensive coordinator Robb Smith that he is reliable at multiple positions with questionable depth.

Needs to Improve — As impressive as Snyder looks at practices, he had games last year where he was a nonfactor on defense. Though mature, Snyder remains inexperienced in the complex defensive schemes at Rutgers after playing in a traditional defense as a high-school linebacker.

Snyder has to use training camp to continue to build an understanding of his multiple roles in the defensive scheme and improve his technique and "swarming" ability. The best way to emerge as a top linebacker is to always be around the ball.

Long-Term Outlook — If Snyder continues down his current path, expect to hear his name called in Radio City Music Hall after his Rutgers career is finished. Whatever his defined role becomes out of training camp, he will be a huge part of a four-man linebacker rotation featuring Greene, Beauharnais and Merrell.

Snyder is a future multi-year starter and potential team captain for the Scarlet Knights.

Here is the latest interview with Snyder.

Scarlet Report Top Stories