Tuesday Practice Report: OL News on Veterans and Position Changes

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The Rutgers offensive line became a focus in Tuesday's practice. Position coach AJ Blazek went in-depth with the press about his four returning starters and an impact position change.

The Headline – Experience is the theme for a Rutgers offensive line set for action in a 70,000-seat away venue.

When senior J.J. Denman won the right tackle position, it assured four returning starters on the offensive line.

“The older guys have got a little vibe about them,” said offensive line coach AJ Blazek. “They know what it means. They young guys are still starry-eyed. I think it's it's just another day at practice. It's good. We're getting closer.”

Communication and smooth operation are key in a road environment, and center Derrick Nelson showed both during training camp. Snapping, specifically, is improved from the spring.

“He's been super,” Blazek said. “I'm excited for his year.”

The least experienced lineman on staff also received praise as an early potential contributor.

“[Kamaal Seymour] understands the basics,” Blazek said. “He's a really smart kid. He knows his classes well. He's a football IQ guy. He's just got to play a little faster. Honestly, I'd like to get him in as soon as we can to get some reps just to slow his brain down. … He's getting close now. He's coming along fast.”

Worth Noting – With training camp complete, sophomore safety Ronnie James (groin) is back at practice. James pushed for starter's reps at safety in spring before Rutgers shut him down.

“To be honest I'm way more excited to play this year just because the defense kind of switched up totally,” James said in an early-August interview. “We went from an NFL-style defense last year to a simpler one this year. It's a lot easier to understand. When you hop on the field, you won't be as nervous to get in games."

Defensive end Kemoko Turay also returned to practice in a limited capacity.

Quote of the Day – “They’ll all tell you they’ve got the best hands on the team. I don’t know about that, but they love it. They enjoy it, enjoy being a part of a receiver. When we go empty sets, we do a good bit of that. They love it, I mean, they’ve adjusted fine.” – Rutgers RB coach Zak Kuhr on running backs as pass catchers.


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