Position, Depth Changes Made out of Scrimmage

The Saturday scrimmage led to many depth and roster changes for the Rutgers football team at Monday morning's practice. After reviewing the scrimmage, coach Kyle Flood made a series of position and depth-chart changes. In addition, fullback Paul Canevari has decided to transfer out of the program.

Rutgers true freshman Darius Hamilton will see his time as a defensive tackle much earlier than anticipated. With the loss of redshirt freshman Daryl Stephenson (foot), Hamilton will move inside to the 3-technique spot and spell Scott Vallone through training camp.

Hamilton spent his first practice as a defensive tackle this morning and will have to show strong technique as an undersized player at the position. Hamilton checked in at 245 pounds for the start of training camp.

"They felt it was best for me to play 3-technique because that's where I'm comfortable at," Hamilton said. "They said I picked up on end really well but was best to play 3-technique. ...I definitely am excited. I'm definitely happy with the switch."

Hamilton was a five-star nose tackle with Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) and will have the opportunity to study under fifth-year senior Vallone.

Also on the defensive line, junior Jamil Merrell will move back to the defensive end spot after working at tackle the first week. Merrell has experience at both spots, but the move provides a way to better spread depth through the defensive line.

Redshirt freshman fullback Paul Canevari has left the program and will transfer. Canevari was the third-team fullback and is expected to seek out opportunities as a tailback at the FCS level.

There are two additional position battles after coach Kyle Flood and his staff analyzed the first spring scrimmage. Flood had high praise for lineman Andre Civil on Saturday and moved the junior to right guard where he will compete with Taj Alexander.

"Mentally, sometimes when people switch positions they get upset and they don't perform very well," Civil said. "I feel like being switched from defense to offense helped me tremendously with this switch from left tackle to right guard. I'm still on the offensive side of the ball and I'll be all right."

Civil began his career a defensive lineman before moving to tackle in 2010.

The second position battle comes at cornerback, where fifth-year senior Marcus Cooper is now in an open battle with Brandon Jones.

"It's a great feeling, but it's not enough," Cooper said. "I want to come out here and continue to get better every day. It's really not about starting to me. It's coming out here and getting better every day."

Redshirt freshman Ben Martin moved back to running back after spending the offseason as a corner.

Flood will not be available for comment until after the evening session.

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