Two-Deep Breakdown: S J.T. Tartacoff

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 safety J.T. Tartacoff.

Taking an in-depth, individual look at the key members of the roster, today looks at junior J.T. Tartacoff, who begins training camp as a second-team safety.

Past Experience — All of Tartacoff's experience comes as a wide receiver, where he played during his first two years with the program. Hand injuries kept him off the field after a torrid start as a true freshman during training camp.

With just one catch for 21 yards in his career, Tartacoff's biggest contribution has been on special teams, where he works as a holder and on kickoff coverage.

As a Recruit — Tartacoff was the second verbal commitment in the Class of 2010. As a two-star product out of Montgomery (N.J.), Tartacoff's only offer was from Rutgers at the time of his commitment.

Spring Performance — Head coach Kyle Flood moved Tartacoff to safety in search of a better position for his skill set. The junior quickly worked his way into the two-deep and performed solidly in coverage situations at his new position behind incumbents Lorenzo Waters, Wayne Warren and Duron Harmon.

Does Well — Tartacoff brings a certain level of natural coverage skills to the position after playing it in high school. With a strong knowledge of both side of the ball, Tartacoff has the ability to get himself in the position to make plays.

He may not have all the size of a Division I safety, but brings the athleticism needed for his current role.

Needs to Improve — Tartacoff is a long way from being ready to start a game as a defensive back and does not have a lot of time to get himself ready.

A converted receiver, Tartacoff lacks the coverage experience and technique needed to play safety in a Rutgers system and will have to continue to pick things up quickly in training camp.

Safety will not be a deep position for the Scarlet Knights this season, so Tartacoff will need to be ready to go.

Long-Term Outlook — Tartacoff's role on defense remains a question with plenty of players ahead of him and talented young DBs joining the program. But his special teams role continues to be invaluable to Rutgers. Mix that with a solid veteran presence and great attitude and Tartacoff can continue to be a key member of the team after his position change.

Here is the latest interview with Tartacoff.

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