Gibson, Harley, Johnson and Parker Sign Free-Agent Contracts.
Gary Gibson: Gibson who hails from Jamesville, New York, was a three-year starter for the Scarlet Knights. Gary concluded his career at Rutgers with 114 tackles. Regarding his selection by the Ravens, Gibson had this to say: "I am really excited right now. This is something I've been working for and pointing towards." Strength's: Leverage lineman with adequate quickness. Plays with good lean, gets underneath opponents and drives up the field. Flashes explosion, moves well laterally and works his hands to stay off blocks. Immediately locates the ball and fights to get involved. Hard worker who does not take plays off. Negatives: Not big, engulfed by opponents or easily locked up at the point. Overall game lacks suddenness. Will have difficulty beating opponents to the corner. Conclusion: With continued strength and conditioning, Gibson has the ability to be a backup in a conventional defense as a one-gap lineman.
Jarvis Johnson: One of the pioneers of Greg Schiano's Florida pipeline, Jarvis saw noteworthy playing time as a true freshman in 2001. In Johnson's sophomore year, he finished sixth on the team with 61 tackles emerging as one of the bright young players in the Big East that season and cemented his talents in 2003, when he paced the team with 97 tackles and earned First Team All-ECAC honors. In his senior year, Johnson was involved in a near-fatal auto accident that ended his season prematurely. The Ravens in need of help in the defensive secondary, signed Jarvis to a free-agent contract on April 28th. Strength's: Johnson is a hard-hitting, run supporting defensive back best in a straight-line. A disciplined player who holds his position on the field, his tackling ability is reminiscent of former Scarlet Knight Shawn Seabrooks. Negatives: Possessing only marginal pass cover skills and minimum range, Johnson was beat often in college by fast receivers in one-and-one situations. Conclusion: Johnson is a free agent prospect that will have to play safety and excel on special teams in order to make it to the next level.
J'Vonne Parker: came to Rutgers after two seasons at Howard University. He played in 11 games last season and contributed 19 tackles and 3½ sacks. Parker did not see any action in 2003. The Browns envision Parker primarily as a nose tackle but also with the ability to play defensive end. J'Vonne is one of 19 free-agents and one of four defensive linemen signed by the Browns. Stating that he is "ready to go," the mammoth Rutgers defensive tackle told his hometown newspaper "I'm elated with this opportunity," via a press release. "I'm ready to go to work." Parker, who is hard to miss with his 6-6, 317-pound stature, uses his natural size to fight though blockers. But he says the most important ingredient to becoming a dominant defense player is not size or speed, two things that most careful observers place a premium on, but being able to react and anticipate plays.
Strength's: His size and strength are J'Vonne's obvious attributes but at the NFL combines, ran between 5.18 and 5.22 in the 40... 4.6 short shuttle... 32" vertical and also did 27 reps of 225 pounds. He showed athleticism in various drills, moving well for a player of his size. Also impressed during 1-on-1 positional drills. Negatives: Has only played one-year Division I-A football, yet is 23 years old.
J'Vonne Stretches Out As a Brown
David Harley: A few days after the Browns and Ravens came to the Banks looking for talent, the Minnesota Vikings signed defensive tackle David Harley to a free-agent contract. A two-year letter-winner at Rutgers after transferring from Pasadena City College, Harley had 45 tackles and 8 sacks in two years of play for the Scarlet Knights. Harley also showed a nose for the ball at Rutgers, leading the Big East with three fumble recoveries. Harley got a good idea of what he is up against when head coach Mike Tice had this to say about Harley. When asked about OG/T Marcus Johnson, Tice responded: "I wanted to get him (Johnson) some more competition by pitting him against (Number 2 draft pick) Erasmus James, no offense to the free agent defensive tackle from Rutgers, but he's the free agent defensive tackle from Rutgers." The following is the skinny on Harley: Strength's: Run-stuffing fire-plug who takes up a lot of room in the middle. Quickly gets off the snap, plays with forward lean and drives up the field. Gets leverage on opponents and holds his ground against blocks. Flashes explosion and fights throughout the action. Negatives: Does not play with great balance and slow shedding blocks. Not quick if asked to twist or stunt. At times rather easily turned from his angle of attack. Conclusion: Though flashing ability as well as athletic skill, Harley has never played to a consistent level or shown consistent improvement on the field. Possesses good size, yet must improve his playing strength and take his game to another level to have any shot of sticking with an NFL team.
Below is a list of Rutgers players currently on NFL rosters:
Former Rutgers standouts ready for NFL
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