Perhaps the most striking, and without a doubt the most immediate impact felt by most of the Scarlet Knights was the sharp change in weather.
"When we got on the plane in Jersey, it was cold, freezing cold, but when we got here it was unbelievable."
Indeed, from the twenty-degree range to temperatures in the sixties at the time of landing will make anyone notice. This was the first payoff, it seemed, of this season's success.
John Glass, a high school All-American at Dieruff HS, became a mainstay for the Scarlet Knights at right guard starting in 2003. He was here for the leanest of years and within the next week he'll be concluding his collegiate carreer at Rutgers being certain of his long-term positive impact on the program.
"This is definitely the best chapter so far," stated Glass, referring to how far this program has come during his tenure.
"Just for me, and for the seniors, this is the best possible way to go out. We just hope that we can set the path for everybody else and that bowl games become a normal thing around here."
Much has been made about the Scarlet Knights needing a few days to become acclimated to their surroundings. A new practice field, a new turf, a schedule filled with activities that will serve as life memories for most, was thought as a negative by some. A distraction perhaps.
Not the case, according to Glass.
"Practice is going pretty good. Yesterday we had a good practice and today [Friday] we had a really good practice too. It wasn't really hard getting used to the [warm] weather because we're used to practicing in the bubble in New Jersey and it is hot and humid in there. Out here it's warm but it's really nice, we have a breeze. It's a lot like spring ball here and it feels really good."
While his family won't be making the trip to Phoenix there will be quite the gathering at the Glass household come game-time.
"Everybody is throwing a party back in Pennsylvania, a bowl game party. Everybody is going to be there, my mother, cousins, friends, everybody. I'd say about 30 or 40 people, maybe more."
This is as much a time of celebration for the players and staff as it is for family members of the players.
"I talk to them [family] every night. I tell them how things are going, they tell me how excited they are for me and how they wish they could be here but everybody can't make it over here. I talk to my family every night, at least once a day and I tell them everything about what's going on here."
Glass, a two-time All Big East selection on the offensive line, will graduate with an Africana Studies degree in hand this December. That leaves a number of opportunities and available options for the David Bender Award recipient.
Is the NFL one of these options?
"God willing. That's what I have aspirations of doing and right now it looks good for me. I'll start to train for the combines and try to make the best of it. That is option number one."
"I graduate in December and I'm real excited about that. I get my degree in Africana Studies so if football doesn't work out, or if it doesn't last that long which it doesn't for a lot of people, I'll be ready with my degree. I'll be ready to go into the business world, teach, do a lot of other things."
"But football right now is my number one option. First thing is to take care our Bowl Game and then get my mind ready for what comes next."
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