When Previlon enrolls June 23 – one year later – he does so with 20 more pounds on his 6-foot-5 frame and the hunger to make an impact.
“I’m like every other senior, so I can’t wait to graduate,” he said. “Right now, I’m just continuing to do my work. Growing up, you hear different opinions about college, so I’m excited to have my own experience about it.”
Previlon is the first of his immediate family to attend college, and he does not want to let them – or his hometown – down.
“It’s pride and kind of an overwhelming feeling,” Previlon said. “A lot of my family didn’t know, and it was kind of a surprise when they found out, especially that I’m going to a school of the caliber of Rutgers University.
“ … Not a lot of good news or success comes from Orange sometimes. It would be nice to be a role model for some of the kids too.”
Previlon begins his Rutgers career as a strongside defensive end. Already up to 250 pound, he could work inside as he matures in the program.
“It’s going to be very challenging,” Previlon said. “I’m competing with guys like Marques Ford and the other guys playing in. I’m also competing with guys that are already on the team, but I’m going to be ready to do what I have to do.”
Previlon earned his Rutgers under the instruction of defensive line coach Jim Panagos at last year’s Big Man Academy. Panagos becomes his fulltime coach in August for training camp.
“If he’s not psycho, he’s right below it,” Previlon said. “That’s what they say. It’s going to be fun because he brings a lot of energy and he obviously knows what he’s doing. You’re going to be having fun, and you’re going to learn too.”