Thompson brings major speed and athleticism for a defensive end and should bring a lot more than 23 tackles and half a sack to the table in the Dave Cohen defense.
4.) LT Keith Lumpkin -- The hulking Lumpkin came to Rutgers raw and slowly built himself into a BCS lineman. Lumpkin used two years of bowl practices to take major strides toward seeing the field and has a small in-game body of work with which to work in training camp.
Lumpkin's wingspan alone makes him an obstacle in the passing game. Moving him to first team at the end of spring led to improvements across the board and the former St. Peters Prep standout is in line for a big season if he holds down the position in camp.
3.) WR Miles Shuler -- Shuler has not had an easy path since enrolling at Rutgers but his displays of sheer speed and athleticism are not something that many rosters in the country have at their disposal. Shuler was a life-time quarterback before coming to Rutgers and learning receiver under three different position coaches and three offensive coordinators since his 2011 commitment is tough.
Shuler lit up a training camp scrimmage last season and should get even more opportunities this August with depth lost at the position. Once Shuler gets down the smaller consistencies of receiver, watch out. He has 12 touches for 138 yards through two seasons and could double that by the first week of September under the right circumstances.
2.) RB Desmon Peoples -- Rutgers needs running backs and Peoples can be the ultimate change-of-pace to starter Savon Huggins. Peoples is quick, elusive and tough. He enters a position battle behind Huggins as a leader for playing time and may be the best backfield homerun threat on the roster.
Peoples was the toughest tailback to bring down in spring practice, but he slowly lost his head of steam by the end of camp. Peoples did not adequately protect the football, which is what cost him a shot at playing time as a true freshman. Peoples has plenty of time to develop his skills but he is very close to game-ready for the Scarlet Knights.
1.) LB Steve Longa -- Longa did not win a job in spring but sent the message that he was ready to play. He and Kevin Snyder both worked at middle linebacker, but the ideal scenario involves Snyder replacing Khaseem Greene on the weak side.
Longa is a workout warrior that is still trying to learn the plays defensively. He worked behind Greene on the two-deep at times during the 2012 season and embraced his middle linebacker move in spring with an impressive overall camp. Longa has not locked down the third starting linebacker spot alongside Snyder and Jamal Merrell, but he is the summer favorite to win the position.