Spring Camp Recap: On The Rise

Spring camp is complete and only final exams stand between Rutgers football and a few well-earned weeks of rest. Taking a look back at spring practice, ScarletReport.com examines five new faces that are building momentum.

Rutgers spring camp offered opportunities for many new faces to earn playing time and pick up practice reps. Plenty of young players impressed in spring camp, but ScarletReport.com now puts its focus on those that have never seen key on-field action.

5. Senior offensive lineman Bryan Leoni -- Leoni enter spring with a chance to be the sixth offensive lineman in the rotation. He enters summer with a chance to be the starting right tackle as Taj Alexander continues to battle injuries. Leoni likely falls back to second-team to begin training camp, but the fifth-year senior walk-on could play all five positions on the offensive line and will have to be ready for all of them this season.

4. Red-shirt freshman linebacker Myles Nash -- Nash brings a ball hawk mentality to linebacker, and coverage has been a concern at the position since losing the recent wave of NFL talents. Nash had more pass deflects than half of the defensive backs on the roster this spring. He was the first given an opportunity at strongside linebacker when Quentin Gause went down, and he is significantly bulked up compared to what he was at enrollment.

Red-shirt freshman defensive end Kemoko Turay -- Raw and, at times, out of control, Turay was the most interesting man in Piscataway during spring camp. The athleticism is elite, and he is adding the size to back it up. Turay flashed his potential in front of 10,000 people at the spring game but there is a lot of development left before he can become more than a third-down weapon off the edge.

2. Sophomore guard J.J. Denman -- Denman inserted himself into the offensive line conversation by seizing an opportunity. Chris Muller went down halfway through spring camp, and Denman stepped up in a big way. Denman worked as the first-team right guard for half of camp. He played well enough to enter the 2014 offensive line rotation – possibly as the first guard in off the bench.

1. Sophomore defensive end Julian Pinnix-Odrick -- It has been two rough years for Pinnix-Odrick, who sat through a red shirt and then lost a year with a torn ACL. Pinnix-Odrick kept his mind sharp and his body in shape, and the reward was an impressive spring at the defensive end position. Pinnix-Odrick has more work to do before he can win a starting job, but he will push hard for playing time because of his ability to rush the passer and make plays in space against the run.

Honorable Mentions -- Linebacker T.J. Taylor, center Derrick Nelson, defensive tackle Eric Wiafe, cornerback Kam Lott.

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