Thursday Practice Report: Saquan Hampton's Rise at Safety

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers defensive backs coach Bill Busch singled out free safety Saquan Hampton for spring progress during a session with the media. Hampton went from a reserve and special teams player last season to a first-team position battle for free safety.

The Headline – A fresh start has Saquan Hampton on the rise at safety under coaches Chris Ash and Bill Busch.

Hampton played as a reserve last season before he elevated himself to a first-team role in spring camp.

“The guy that’s probably stood out for us in a positive way that hasn’t played very much football at all has been Saquan Hampton,” Busch said. “He’s really done some nice things for us. That’s been a big plus for us.”

Hampton can play strong and free safety for Rutgers, and rotated with junior Kiy Hester during the final week of spring.

“I feel like I got a fresh start, and I got a chance to show the coaches what I can do early by just playing fast and running to the football and making plays,” Hampton said.

Worth Noting – Converted safety Ronnie James missed practice Thursday for a funeral, but impressed Busch with a spring body of work.

“I’ve been very, very happy with Ronnie,” Busch said. “… He has played a lot of football with us this spring, has not really played much football (before) this point at all. He was a corner moved out there. There’s a lot of moving parts for him right there. The thing that stands out the most is his movement and his willingness to tackle. He has that part of it right there, and he can run.”

Quote of the Day – “It’s kind of like being an alcoholic. You have to figure out where you are. If you’re rock bottom, then OK, now you’ve got a chance. … If you just went sheer numbers, they weren’t really good last year as far as defensively what had to be done.” – Busch on building up safeties.

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