Rutgers DB Coach Bill Busch Goes In-Depth on Safety Development, Recruiting, Cioffi, Hampton

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers defensive backs coach Bill Busch gives an educated analysis on the state of the safety position.

On what stands out about Saquan Hampton

“The No. 1 reason (is) because of how he works, so that’s the thing that jumps out the most is that you’ll see a lot of skillsets that are very good by he way they work and the tempo with them. And we talk about in our room, the first conversation you have is that you don’t tackle, you don’t get to play. So he tackles extremely well and very violently in the tackling and he gets to be really fast. He wants to fight really fast and he can cover ground. But what he does in his work ethic and when he comes to practice, how hard he goes right now. I mean, he’s an every snap kind of guy, so that’s probably the most impressive with him where he’s made the biggest improvements from spring to now and in what he’s done on his own in the summer is his intelligence in the game and his football. So we talk about not defending ghosts, understanding what situational football is, the formation, down and distance, all of those things that factor in. It’s a very complicated game and he’s been able to. The game slows down very well in his mind for him, so don’t ever see him in a panic situation so we’re excited (Hampton), for sure.”

On the safeties beyond Hampton, Anthony Cioffi and Kiy Hester

“Right now, Zane Campbell would be the one that is getting a lot of reps and he moved from corner to safety. First part was his body type and wanting to look more as a safety, and he’s done a very good job of developing himself over the summer, so I’m very excited about that. Also, he’s made a great amount of improvement heading into the knowledge factor. He’s made a lot of plays. He’s by far our leading interception guy in the fall here so far, so he has a chance to be very good in that area and also, he’s a very worthy tackler, too, which means he’ll get in a fight with you, so that’s exciting for us there. Then the other man, Lawrence Stevens, is a young man from (Don) Bosco (Prep) that does — he’s got a lot of reps with the twos and he plays extremely, extremely hard. He’s very, very young, obviously, and things like that, so there’s some areas there that it’s fun to coach him.”

On Dacoven Bailey…

“From recruiting him, the big thing that stood out him was … his ability to compete. He was someone that was a freak football player, a freak basketball player, point guard player like that. He was also a state qualifier in Texas, which is hard to do, so he did great at track. He ran track in the morning and then he started baseball in the afternoon, so he was a four-sport starter for four years. So that’s pretty impressive right there, how you get after it. So that part — how hard he competes, his skill level. Probably what I see from him on the other side (on defense) and then what I knew was told in the recruiting process with him was how competitive he was and how hard he goes, and then that’s what stands out.”

On Ronnie James

“Well, he’ll probably factor in at, I’m sure, the free or the strong. That was a really frustrating loss for us because, again, Ronnie can really run, he developed his body so well over the summer and then he had to have that surgery. He’s doing great and then coming back, so we’re looking forward to getting him back here pretty soon. We’ll work him in slow, try to build a fine (line). Usually with someone like that, what you want to find is a limited to give as they start to get back, whether it be a phase or two on special teams or a phase of something in a substitution package on defense just to get him back going a little bit … we’re really excited to get him back and we really miss him a lot. He’s a great kid and I love coaching him.”

On Blessuan Austin and Isaiah Wharton

“What they’ve done, the No. 1 thing, is their improvement. Where they were in the spring for where they are now because we took somebody and completely changed what they had done. I mean, a whole different type of package. We have a lot more variety in our coverage. Sometimes they’re up in press, sometimes they’re off — they do a lot of different things, so we changed a lot of what they had to do. So their development, what they did over the summer, luckily, we’re able to work with them in the summer on some things.”

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