Freshman Kraut Wraps Up Year One

The outlook at fullback changes in 2015 after captain Michael Burton and backup Sam Bergen graduate. Jacob Kraut accepted a scholarship offer from Rutgers for the chance at early playing time, and the interview process heats up in bowl practices.

Bruiser fullback Jacob Kraut is down 25 pounds from his Rutgers enrollment, and bowl practice earns him an in-depth look from the coaching staff.

In a projected spring battle between Kraut and former walk-on Kevin Marquez, the true freshman appreciates his winter opportunity.

“This is really important,” Kraut said. “I feel like what I do now impacts the reps I get in the spring. If I get more reps, then obviously I have a better chance of playing next season.

“It’s all about getting ready for a bowl game. We’re trying to be 1-0 in Detroit.”

Kraut works on the scout team for most of practice, and moves to his traditional fullback role during “developmental periods.”

“I’ve enjoyed these periods a lot,” Kraut said. “It’s a great time to learn, and I’ve got a great teacher ahead of me in Michael Burton.

Burton, one of two offensive team captains, took his leadership role seriously as a fifth-year senior.

“He’s a great role model,” Kraut said. “I want to do what he does on and off the field. I know he takes care of his body. He has a great work ethic, watching film and studying all of the time.”

Kraut completed his first Rutgers semester this week, with lessons learned on and off the field.

“I’ve learned a lot about what it takes,” Kraut said. “You can think you’re prepared out of high school, but you’re just not. It’s a fact. You have so much you need to learn. Every day there’s something new. There’s another reason to push yourself harder to get to a different level.”

“You have to work hard and get your schoolwork done first. That way you can focus every day on football. Work hard in the weight room. Getting bigger, stronger and faster is what you have to do to get a better chance of playing.”

Originally a Ron Prince prospect, Kraut welcomes the chance to see him again after the move to the Detroit Lions staff.

“I loved Prince,” Kraut said. “He’s an awesome guy. I hope I get to see him.”

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