10 in 10: Rutgers Spring Camp

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – ScarletReport.com's post-game package goes much deeper than the stats and the nuts and bolts of the game. The "10 in 10" feature gives Rutgers fans 10 not-so-noticeable notes that each can be read in 10 seconds or less. The breezy format is perfect for office water-cooler talk the day after a game.

As part of ScarletReport.com's media day coverage, the "10 in 10" segment gives you 10 not-so-noticeable things that took place during Friday’s spring game, and behind the scenes storylines from April’s camp.

It is designed for each of the 10 quick-hitters to be read in 10 seconds or less. Here are the 10 from High Point Solutions Stadium.


1.Personnell adjustment or philosophy change? -- It was a theme of spring, and blatant in the spring game that Rutgers tight ends will give a different look under coordinator Ben McDaniels. Multiple tight ends worked out of the backfield in the spring game, which helps replace what Rutgers lost in Michael Burton. Sam Bergen is not the same offensive threat, and Nick Arcidiacono helps replace that.

2. Blessed -- The spring game was a perfect representation of true freshman Blessuan Austin’s first Rutgers camp. Austin was hit or miss in coverage – a pass interference on an underthrown ball to Carlton Agudosi – but a spectacular forced fumble saved a touchdown late in the game.

3. It Takes Two -- Fans saw a realistic preview of the 2015 running game. The running game was average overall, but the top ground play of the day game when Josh Hicks followed a perfect stretch block from right tackle Marcus Applefield down the right sideline. Although the running back room is a stacked one, the ground game remains a work in progress with at least three new starters on the offensive line.

4. Two Horse Race -- Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig face a long summer position battle. Laviano is the leader, but not based on his spring statistics. Laviano received more first-time work in training camp, and showed a better connection with the roster as the more experienced guy. Don’t let an 8-for-10 passing clip in the spring game mislead you because Laviano’s first touchdown should have been an interception, and he missed two huge gains with open receivers.

5. Inconsistent Special Teams -- Rutgers is still one of the best blocking teams in the nation, but other aspects of special teams left more to be desired in 2014. Kyle Flood has the same faces for 2015 in Kyle Federico, Alan Lucy, Joe Roth and Tim Gleeson, so expect a similar result.

6. Man in the Middle -- Newcomer Isaiah Johnson did exactly what he needed to in spring. Johnson played well enough at MIKE that Rutgers both keeps junior Steve Longa on the outside and gives transfer Kaiwan Lewis the competition he needs.

7. Wally Pipp? -- With names like Nadir Barnwell, Janarion Grant and Paul James out for spring, new faces received major opportunities. Red-shirt freshmen Isaiah Wharton and Darian Dailey both earned more playing time at cornerback in their increased roles. With Grant out, Rutgers found new playmakers at both receiver and returner. James is on the mend from ACL surgery, and the sophomore duo of Robert Martin and Josh Hicks were more than ready for bigger roles. Look for plenty of competition in training camp.

8. Limited Changes -- Battles are not won in spring practice, and few depth chart changes took place throughout camp. Outside of offensive line shuffling for guys like Jacquis Webb and Ryan Brodie, fullback and safety were the only positions where new names emerged. Walk-on Razohnn Gross pushed for first-team work at fullback by the end of camp and Anthony Cioffi shined at safety after his position change.

9. Lock it Up -- As anyone that’s ever covered a Rutgers practice will tell you, the ball is the program. Fumbles are the fastest way to the bench. For Martin at running back, ball security became an issue against Maryland in 2014, and remains a concern after he botched a touchdown run. If Martin wants to stay in the running back battle, fix that fast.

10. Mr. Versatility -- Quanzell Lambert was arguably the spring MVP. The Erial (N.J.) Timber Creek product played through injuries for 15 practices, and worked wherever the staff needed him. Lambert likely starts at the “R” position in game one. In spring, he evolved into the starting nose tackle. Where David Milewski filled the role in 2014, look for Lambert to be next.


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