Daily News POY Talks about RU Visit

Scott Vallone put an end to his recruitment relatively early in the process, selecting Rutgers over numerous other schools this past June. However, it wasn't until this past weekend that Scott Vallone, the standout by way of the Empire State, took his official visit to Rutgers.

Scott Vallone was one of the earlier commitments to the current Rutgers class, pulling the proverbial trigger back in June. Vallone, a three-star standout according to Scout.com is also the #3 rated player in New York State according to the service. By way of St. Anthony's HS (Melville, NY), Vallone stands in at 6-feet-2 and a half inches and weighed in at 262-pounds during his visit to Rutgers this past weekend.

SOR had an opportunity to catch up with the Empire state product, discuss his trip, his thoughts about RU's season, and much more.

"The trip was just great," stated Vallone. "I had a lot of fun. It was great hanging out with a lot of the commitments and some of the guys that hadn't committed yet."

Vallone was already familiar with a number of RU's commitments and although he spent a signigicant amount of time with some of those players, he also took advantage of the opportunity to meet some possible (at the time) future teammates.

"I had already been talking with Devon Watkis, been talking to Eric LeGrande and with Art Frost, but I also had a chance to meet some of the newer guys, like Marquis Hamm and Wayne Warren, who are both great guys."

It was Vallone that first heard of Warren's decision to don Scarlet. Waiting outside Coach Schiano's office Sunday morning, Warren, who had stepped in moments earlier, walked out at the conclusion of his meeting with a succint message for Vallone: "See You in Scarlet."

"Coach Schiano says that he's [Warren] an amazing athlete and he seems like a real good guy. I'm really excited to be playing with him."

While Vallone is headed for the defensive side of the ball, it seems as if Warren is likely to do the same, perhaps as a Safety. Vallone, on the other hand, wil have some big shoes to fill as he's expected to step in for All-American Eric Foster.

"I'm supposed to take over for Eric Foster and play the three-technique. Eric, he's just such an explosive player, he's very fast. Even in the meeting room he's talking about plays and giving out his opinion on what is going on. He's a very smart guy and he knows how to play the game. It's going to be a lot to live up to," continued Vallone.

Vallone's squad ended the year by securing the League Championship for the seventh consecutive year while recording a 10 and 1 record. Vallone recorded 21 solo tackles (22 assisted) and amassed 9.5 sacks during his Senior season. However, it wasn't all that easy early on for the defensive stalwart. While being double-teamed on virtually every play from scrimmage, Vallone came up empty through his initial 7 games of the season, recording 0 sacks. Against Chaminade, in the regular season finale, Vallone erupted for 4 sacks. He recorded 3 sacks a week later in the opening round of the playoffs. In the championship game at Hofstra, a game witnessed firsthand by Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano, Vallone dominated the opposition recording 9 tackles to go along with a pair of sacks, and a fumble recovery. Vallone's squad went on to win the CHSFL AAA championship 22-20.

For his efforts the future Scarlet Knight lineman was selected as the Daily News Player of the Year.

Though busy with his own season and the classroom, Vallone did manage to keep track of RU's 2007 campaign. "They were really in every game except for one," said Vallone. "They were only a couple of chops away from winning those close games," stated Vallone, sounding every bit a member of the Scarlet Knights family.

"Obviously the season was a let-down but the big picture shows where this program is headed, with the three straight winning seasons and three straight bowl games."

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