Fifth Year Seniors

Rutgers defense boasts two fifth year seniors with defensive tackle Eric Foster and linebacker Brandon Renkart among the more prominent players.

The current players' legacy is simple. It was they that helped transform Rutgers Stadium from one of empty seats and an apathetic fan base into one that regularly packs the house. It was they that made Scarlet Knight football relevant in the state of New Jersey, and nationally. "I am excited to play in this stadium one last time," Foster said. "The atmosphere here is totally different than it was five years ago. To come back on this field one more time, it is going to mean so much to me to walk on this field Saturday afternoon."

Playing with guys like Brandon Renkart on the defense for five years is something that Foster is very proud of.

"It is by grace of God that we get to finish up together," alluding to the fact that he and Brandon didn't actually start on the same side of the ball. "Because guys leave and go. Just to have the privilege to be with those guys all five years to work out together and finish our last game together, it will be something we always remember. It is going to be special to all of us."

Renkart shares Foster's sentiments as he spoke about playing his last game at Rutgers Stadium with a big smirk on his face trying to hold back his excitement.

"It has been a great five years," Renkart said. "I have had nothing but good memories here. I can't let the emotion get too involved. This is a great group of guys that I came in with. You see the progression the last five years. It is just amazing to see how much things have changed."

Keeping emotions in check will be extremely important for the players as the Scarlet Knights enter Rutgers Stadium one more time. The coaching staff has spoken to the players about making sure that they stay focused and finish out their last home game strong.

Rutgers still has two games and almost definitely, a bowl game left on the schedule, which would give the Scarlet Knights the opportunity to enjoy a nine win season.

"We definitely want to finish up the season strong," Foster said. "I think we have been handling it pretty well as far as practicing and preparing. We are looking forward to it. I want to finish up strong. Everybody in here wants to finish up strong."

Foster and Renkart will their five-year run as captains and that is perhaps the most fulfilling thing that could have happened to them during their time at Rutgers.

"We take our responsibility very seriously," Foster said. "The team chose us to lead them. I embrace that role and it is a privilege to be honored as a captain."

Being a fifth year senior, players have extra time on their hands as most of them have finished up their required classes. Foster, who is an extremely determined football player used this extra time to increase his preparation.

"I have extra time on my hands and that time is planned out very well as far as getting extra treatment and watching extra film," Foster said. "I took the advantage of having that extra time and put it towards my body and towards football preparation."

This is also time of the year that discussions start about players like Foster, and about where in the NFL Draft [this spring] they may be heading. Foster is trying not to think about it too much but has talked with the coaching staff about what is going to happen over the next few months.

"I know that goal is there because that is my childhood goal, to play at the highest level I can play," Foster said. "Those goals are always there no matter what happens. I can't let those goals be a distraction, because I have to play the best I can play right now."

Of course, if football does not work out for Foster, he has already begun to take steps toward his next career. Foster has been serving as an intern with the New Jersey State Troopers and is interested in getting into law enforcement after football.

"It is a different angle in my life and it is a lot of fun," Foster said. "You can't bank on it to make it to the NFL and I realize that."

Scarlet Report Top Stories