A year of injury and frustration for Logan Lister of Katy (Texas) has the red-shirt freshman tight end ecstatic to be back on the practice field.
Lister missed most of his freshman season with injuries, but still jumps into an impact spring role after Tyler Kroft’s departure.
“I’m happy for him,” said head coach Kyle Flood. “He’s getting an opportunity to play football for the first time in a long time. He caught a couple of touchdowns in 7-on-7 today down in the red zone. That was good for him. He’s at the beginning stages of what he’s doing. He’s a big, physical in-line tight end, which is what we recruited him to be.”
Lister had consecutive strong practices this week, and confidence is on the rise.
“I’m still a little iffy about stuff but I’m getting better every day,” he said. “I feel like I’m starting to move a little better. I feel like I’m starting to get into the natural stuff I was doing before.”
Nearly two years passed since Lister offered a soft verbal commitment to assistant Anthony Campanile before he set foot on the Rutgers campus. Multiple injuries and a year of adjustment later, Lister is stronger because of the adversity.
“[Sitting out] was really hard for me, especially with my family and everything like that,” he said. “For me to come all the way up here, they wanted to see me play and stuff like that. Them not being able to see me play was really hard on all of us.”
Junior Nick Arcidiacono leads early in a possible six-way position battle based on experience, but the starting spot is wide open in the team’s eyes.
“I feel like it could be anybody’s position right now.,” Lister said. “… Really [I need to show] everything, just a little bit of everything – running, blocking, catching, everything.”
Lister, Arcidiacono and walk-on Matt Flanagan pushed the hardest early to replace Kroft, who often offers encouragement to his former teammates.
“I talk to him at least two or three times a week if I see him at the Hale [Center] or in a text or something like that,” Lister said. “He tells me to keep working, keep on doing your best and things will happen.”
Lister has a new position coach after Campanile moved to the receiver role, but said there is not a big change. He remains most comfortable as a blocker at 6-foot-5 245 pounds.
“I feel that’s my strength,” Lister said. “I just really need to work on the receiving part of my game.”