Agudosi Focused Heading Into Opener

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Carlton Agudosi is back from injury and a key player for Thursday's season opener. The 6-foot-5 sophomore makes the jump from special teams body to contributor at wide receiver this season. He discussed his progress after the end of his third Rutgers training camp.

Focus was the theme of the offseason for sophomore receiver Carlton Agudosi. Even during something as mundane as a meal in the Hale Center, the conversation quickly turns to Rutgers against Washington State and the 2014 season.

The renewed focus comes based on leadership from his captains, Agudosi said.

“Gary [Nova] definitely helps because he holds you to a different standard,” Agudosi said. “He’s been out here before. He’s our quarterback. He’s motivating you all the time. Whether it’s at lunch or outside off campus, he’s always trying to motivate. That’s why I voted him as a captain.”

Agudosi played in 11 games last season – mostly on special teams. Thursday’s role represents his most significant role to date.

Agudosi finds himself as a second-team receiver for the game against Washington State. Fellow sophomores Andre Patton and Ruhann Peele are out, making the 6-foot-5 Agudosi even more valuable.

“I don’t see it as more responsibility,” Agudosi said. “I’m trying to play at a high level no matter how many guys we have. That’s what it comes down to. If I can do that, I feel like I’ll have a great season.”

Missing practice time with a lower body injury, Agudosi is listed as probable for kickoff by coach Kyle Flood on the injury report.

“I’m ready for this game,” Agudosi said. “It’s so close, I feel like we’ve been in camp forever. I’m definitely going to be nervous before the game, especially out in the Seahawks stadium. That’s good. If you’re not nervous before a game, then you don’t love it. I’ll shake off the nerves, and then I’ll be hyped.”

The chance to play at CenturyLink Field is just as exciting for Agudosi as it is for other Scarlet Knights.

Agudosi never played at MetLife during his high school career at Somerset (N.J.) Franklin. He redshirted in 2012 when Rutgers played in three NFL Stadiums (Tampa, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia).

“Seattle just won the Super Bowl,” Agudosi said. “That’s definitely cool for us. They’re not going to be there – that’s what coach Flood said – so that’s too bad. Hopefully someone shows them our tape from the game – send out a tweet or something. It’s not every day you get to play in an NFL stadium. That’s something most people never experience.”


Quotables

On going against a non-Rutgers opponent … “It doesn’t matter what corner you’re facing. I’ve got different techniques that I can use. I have to focus on what I do, but it’s going to be fun to do it against somebody else that isn’t my teammate.”

On stepping it up in training camp … “I improved greatly beyond what I was in the spring and even in the summer time. That’s what training camp is for. You’re here every day at practice, twice a day, constant work. “

On his focuses … “I got better out my route-running and against press coverage. That’s something I’ve been working on a lot. And then it’s just being more consistent – focusing and working hard.”


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