Corcoran's Role to see Significant Upgrade

The remarkable feature of the legend that was Brian Leonard centered about a defense's lack of knowledge of his whereabouts - blocking one play, rushing the next, he kept defenses guessing all afternoon. Jack Corcoran, who will have some of the biggest shoes to fill on the 2007 version of Rutgers Football, has some of the same abilities - he can run, block, and catch.

Sophomore [So.] Fullback [FB] Jack Corcoran has some of the biggest shoes to fill of any continuing Rutgers player due to the departure of legend Brian Leonard. Leonard's status reached religious proportions during his final year as he chose to step back and literally pave the way for So. RB sensation Raymell Rice, selecting to diminish his personal statistical output while excelling at a part of the game that would have NFL teams drool over his all-around capabilities.

"One of the main things about Brian [Leonard] was that he was a leader by example. He's truly a role model. I'm replacing a legend, a guy that everyone looked up to and admired, the greatest football player to ever play at Rutgers," stated Corcoran following an impressive scrimmage performance.

Used primarily as a blocking FB in short yard and goal-line situations in 2006, Corcoran had the opportunity to learn from one of the best in the business. "Even now, while I'm in the film room I try to watch a lot of film on him, try to study him. He did so many things so well, little things that people can't even see and I try to pick up on these things," continued Corcoran.

While he may have admittedly big shoes to fill, Corcoran has done quite admirably for himself. He showed glimpses of his running abilities in 2006, adding a season-high 13-yard run among his 4 carries. In Saturday's scrimmage, he tried to remind folks of his dual-threat capability, as both a runner and blocker, by dragging a defender for 3 yards straight into the endzone for an offensive score. The leg strength and drive is certainly there - only game experience and snaps still await the former St. Joseph's HS [Atlantic City, NJ] star.

While his running abilities won't shock Rutgers Football followers, it's Corcoran's blocking acumen that has taken a distinct step forward during the off-season. "One of the more important things that I've learned and tried hard to work on is to stay low and stay on my feet," stated Corcoran. In an offensive scheme that utilized Leonard as much as a lead blocker as a decoy, it will be incumbent upon Corcoran to excel in both departments. He's lined up at tail and the more traditional FB position, in particular because he can excel at both positions, a quality not often evident. A sort of thunder to Ray Rice's lightning, if you will.

However, Corcoran, in the same demeanor that one has come to expect of the team-first Scarlet Knights under Head Coach Greg Schiano, was quick to point out what he believes his role is. "It doesn't matter to me at all where I line up. I like to do both, but I really like to do whatever the staff asks me to do. Ray is the all-around back on this team, he's the Heisman Candidate. I think it would help a little just to keep [defenses] guessing, but my job is really to clear the way for Ray and do whatever the staff asks of me," said Corcoran.

Camp has progressed nicely for Corcoran. More snaps and increased work with the first team and an opportunity to showcase his all-around RB skills have resulted from his rise up the depth chart. "Experience is really the key between this year and last year. Every day is a new day and every day I'm learning a lot. It's not even about prep on the field only. Ever time that we study film we consider it a step forward," said Corcoran.

The former AP and Star-Ledger All-State honoree and HS wrestling All-American will have his first chance to clear that much awaited path for teammate Ray Rice soon enough. Rutgers Football opens up the 2007 season with a home date versus Buffalo on August 30th. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on MSG network.


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