Kickoff Primer: What to Watch

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — ScarletReport.com has the impact players, who has the most to prove, which players are in "building" mode and much more before kickoff against Howard.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Rutgers plays home game No. 1 against Howard. Though the game is not expected to be close, there is a ton to keep an eye on behind the scenes with South Florida looming Thursday night in Tampa, Fla.

Who will make the biggest impact, who has the most to prove and who is the player to watch? Well, we've done our best to identify those things, and offer a few other fun tidbits.

Impact players
1. RB Jawan Jamison — Jamison was dynamic against Tulane and is in line for even more success against an FCS defense that surrendered 29 points to Morehouse State last week. The offensive line is run blocking better than it did last season and Jamison did well in following his blockers last week on his 46-yard touchdown run.

2. OLB Khaseem Greene — Greene picked up where he left off last year by flying around the field to make tackles. Greene registered 14 in week one and was a key player in keeping Tulane to eight rushing yards. Most of the Howard offense has never seen a player like Green bearing down on them, after facing Eastern Michigan in its FBS game last year.

Jawan Jamison
3. WR Brandon Coleman — 6-foot-6, 4.4 speed is not something Howard is prepared to face and the matchup of Coleman against any member of the Bison's secondary is borderline unfair.

4. RB Savon Huggins — Huggins can be a brutal downhill runner when he gets going. Look for the offensive line to get a big push off the line of scrimmage and open up opportunities for the former five-star running back. Huggins fumbled last week and could use a strong showing in week two.

5. CB Brandon Jones — Jones made the big play against Tulane, but struggled in third-down coverage. When a big play is made on defense or special teams, Jones is often a reason why.

Who has the most to prove?
1. QB Gary Nova — Apparently managing the game will not be enough for the sophomore to win over his fan base. Nova showed improvements from last year, but has a lot to work on. His pre-snap read on the interception was clearly bad. He threw the ball away when needed for the most part, but forced a throw under pressure that would have been a pick if he was not ruled down.

2. MLB Steve Beauharnais — Beauharnais was not nearly as active around the ball as he should have been. Three tackles is not enough to get it done. Speed to the ball and swarming ability have to improve.

Gary Nova
3. CB Logan Ryan — Ryan did not play like someone with NFL potential last week and will have to prove that his struggles were an anomaly. Ryan can be a lock-down cornerback and impact player, but he got off to a slow 2012 start.

4. PK Kyle Federico — He came up with a miss on his first career attempt, but rebounded with a 28-yarder and three extra points. Will nerves get the better of him in his first field goal attempt at home? Will Rutgers even need to settle for field goals against Howard?

5. WR Miles Shuler — Shuler may see his opportunities increase with Jeremy Deering's health in doubt. Likely to see the field on special teams and offense, it is time for Shuler to show that his big summer scrimmage was a sign of things to come and not an anomaly.

Looking to build
1. LG Antwan Lowery — Lowery improved at finishing his blocks and is starting to look like one of the better offensive linemen in the conference. Saying he is in the best shape of his life, Lowery is off to a great start for an improving offensive line.

2. DT Scott Vallone — It did not show in the stat sheet, but Vallone was a huge contributor to holding Tulane to eight rushing yards. He got incredible push off the line of scrimmage and is a natural fit in his move to the 3-tech.

Antwan Lowery
3. DB Mason Robinson — Robinson made multiple punt returns to sway the field position against Tulane. Instead of settling for fair catches, the sixth-year senior was not afraid to risk a return.

4. RG Andre Civil — Civil set the key block on Jamison's 46-yard touchdown run. Moving to guard and beating out Taj Alexander in a camp position battle, Civil is quickly transforming into a trustworthy offensive lineman after coming as a defensive end in 2009.

5. DE Myles Jackson — Jackson got off to a solid start, filling in at defensive end after the injury to Marvin Booker. Jackson was active and moved well against the run. Look for his role to increase with Booker still out.

Poised for a breakout
Brandon Coleman
WR Brandon Coleman — Whether it is in stretching the field or on quick throws, look for Coleman's size and speed to be borderline uncoverable for Howard. Coleman broke free on a slant against Tulane and is in line for a big day tomorrow in the home opener.

Freshman worth watching
Tyler Kroft
CB Tejay Johnson — Johnson came up big on special teams in KOC plays and could get a chance to step up at cornerback against a lesser foe. With 4.4 speed and a 6-foot-1 frame, the potential is there.


Scarlet Report Top Stories