17 in 17: CB Anthony Cioffi

Rutgers football has 17 signed freshmen in various stages of the enrollment process. Continuing our 17-in-17 series, today ScarletReport.com looks already cornerback Anthony Cioffi out of Dayton.

As the first member of the Rutgers class of 2013, the wait has been longest for Dayton (Springfield, N.J.) cornerback Anthony Cioffi.

Identified, offered and added early by head coach Kyle Flood, Cioffi emerged as an impressive defensive back and feels ready to take the next step in his career.

"Right now I'm literally counting the days until Rutgers," Cioffi said. "I'm really excited that every day it's closer to college football. … I feel ready, 100 percent."

A small-school athlete, Cioffi did not face top-end competition on the field as the quarterback and cornerback for Dayton, but saw plenty of it in camps and workouts during the recruiting process.

A 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback, Cioffi spent his spring working out with incoming Vanderbilt cornerback Tre Bell out of St. Peter's Prep. The duo became friends during the recruiting process and ranked as two of the top defensive backs in the 2013 New Jersey class.

"We're working on technique and pushing ourselves to be ready," Cioffi said. "A couple of times Will Hill came by. I've been working with them or at the gym about five days a week to get ready."

Cioffi watched multiple Rutgers defensive backs leave in the offseason and head to the NFL. Seeing the lack of established depth at the position, he plans to immediately compete for playing time in training camp.

"I'm coming to make an impact," Cioffi said. "I don't like the idea of not playing at all. The main thing is to just get on the field."

Cioffi looks forward to joining the program and working with new secondary coach Daryl Wilson, who joined Rutgers after a decade at Iowa.

"I've met with him before and I can tell he's a great coach," Cioffi said. "I've been talking mostly with some of the other coaches, but I'm ready to play. I want to show them why they recruited me. It's about what I can do now."

Cioffi said he watched the NFL draft and free agency closely and the amount of Rutgers defensive backs involved in the process served as greater motivation to get ready for this summer.

"It's awesome," he said. "it just shows you that, no matter what, there's always a chance to get picked up. Rutgers is a great opportunity. They want me to be in their program and I'm ready to work for it."


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