Thursday Practice Report: Focus on Rutgers Defensive Ends Darnell Davis, Kemoko Turay

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- What does Rutgers coach Chris Ash expect from Kemoko Turay? Will Robert Martin be available for Saturday against Michigan State. Ash breaks it down in his final comments before kickoff.

The Headline – The defensive end position came into focus Thursday with Rutgers coach Chris Ash, who spoke highly again of walk-on Darnell Davis Jr.

The week after Davis returned a fumble for a touchdown, he received a thumbs up for off-field work ethic.

“It's about his effort and his consistency,” Ash said. “He plays really hard. He cares. He does his job. [He] might not be the biggest, the strongest and the fastest guy but you know what you're going to get every day out of Darnell.”

Meanwhile, Kemoko Turay remains a work in progress for Rutgers football. After Turay missed all of spring and most of summer for injury reasons, Ash still has not seen enough from him.

“The evaluation of Kemoko is an ongoing process,” Ash said. “He hasn't played enough for me to really have an opinion of what he can and can't do yet. I know he can rush the passer. I do know that. We see that in practice. We've seen that in games.”

Turay remains in a third-down role but Rutgers wants to get more out of him.

“What we need to see is a complete Kemoko,” Ash said. “We're trying to develop him into an every-down player. Right now his strength is pass rush. He's a situational player. There are some other things that we want to be able to ask him to do. We did that last Saturday, and unfortunately it wasn't executed the way it had been in practice. Kemoko hasn't practiced a whole lot with us.

“He continues to get better all of the time. He's healthier right now than he's ever been. He's doing more than he's ever done. He's getting closer and closer to maybe one day being able to play on first and second down and do some things as well as third-down pass rush. Again, we like to do a lot of different things on third down with our guys being able to rush the passer and drop in coverage and mix it up. Hopefully he'll get to the point where he can do that consistently.”

Worth Noting – Running back Robert Martin's return from injury is likely against Michigan State.

Robert's practice,” Ash said. “He's looking better. He's not 100 percent, but I think he's gotten a lot more reps and he should be available for the game on Saturday.”

Quote of the Day – “I haven't talked to him one bit about it to be honest with you. The kid's a pro. He's handled his business the way we expect a quarterback to handle his business.” – Ash on Giovanni Rescigno's homecoming.

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