Former Rutgers Players Impress

On Wednesday, Rutgers held its Pro Day and 12 of this past season's Scarlet Knights showed their skills in front of numerous scouts from teams across the NFL. The former Knights were tested in various drills and exercises at the Hale Center and in the practice bubble.

Rutgers held it's Pro Scout Combine yesterday in the Hale Center and practice bubble where 12 of this past season's former players were drilled in front of NFL scouts and coaches.

The now ex-Knights that put their talents on display for the 30 scouts representing 20 NFL teams were Jean Beljour, Marcus Daniels, Gaudhi DeSedas, Mike Fladell, Eric Foster, Ron Girault, Jeremy Ito, Brandon Renkart, Ray Rice, James Townsend and Jeremy Zuttah. Though listed on the roster, Pedro Sosa was unable to participate. In addition, Quintero Frierson (2006 Senior) and Sameeh McDonald (2005 Senior) also participated.

For Head Coach Greg Schiano, it's just a time for him to sit back and watch the guys that played for him try to leave their mark on the NFL personnel present at the event.

"I don't have much to do with it," Schiano said. "I talk to the coaches and scouts, and give them some background information. I'm a spectator, just here to watch and root for them."

Sosa was sidelined from the workout with a knee injury. He understands there's nothing he can do about the injury now and eventually he will be able to show potential teams what he's got.

"I can't control it, I just have to rehab it and get back to work," Sosa said. "I've spoken to teams, but I can't control some of that stuff. I know I can play football and I'm a talented guy. Wherever I go, I'm going to be there and I'm going to play my hardest."

The crutches are expected to come off in five weeks according to the Second Team All-Big East lineman, and about three weeks after that he will be able to do his running.

Fellow lineman, Zuttah is coming off an impressive showing at the NFL Combine and took part in the vertical jump, where he improved four inches with a 31-inch jump.

"I think I did well," Zuttah said. "I just tried to show them what kind of athlete I am and some of the things I can do. I thought I did it today."

Because of his performance in Indianapolis, the First Team All-Big East honoree just took part in the vertical jump and focused on positional drills with a few of the other linemen.

"The scouts and the coaches came here to see me do the positional drills today," Zuttah, who hasn't allowed a sack since 2005, said. "There wasn't anything to prove with the numbers today."

Fladell has been a nice story for the Rutgers program and Schiano said he's come a long way and will make one pro team very happy.

"As soon as Mike gets into an organization, he's going to show why he was a two and a half year starter," he said. "You have to remember how far he's come, a 377 pound freshman to where he is now to [324]. The reflection he's had from over three seasons playing [is a positive]."

Overall, Fladell said he had a good workout, but one drill where he didn't get to show his best effort was in the bench press.

"I was a little disappointed in my bench," he said. "I was hitting 25 consistently, then I came in with 23 and struggled on the 24th."

Despite the bench press, the versatile lineman that said he's been getting some looks as a right tackle feels like he can bring a lot to a prospective NFL team.

"Definitely my size is a plus," the 6-foot-6 and a half lineman said. "I felt my hips got a lot better in the past month. Also bringing my mental toughness to a team and paying attention to detail."

On the other side of the ball, defensive lineman Eric Foster took part in three drills before tweaking his hamstring during the 40-yard dash.

Foster has heard from a few NFL teams, including the Colts who he flew in to see about a week and a half ago. The First Team All-Big East member that had seven sacks last season said he's unsure of what position on the line he will play at the next level because he's hearing different things from different teams.

"I have no idea because different teams are giving me different feedback," he said. "Some teams have me at defensive tackle, some have me at end. Either one I'll be ready."

A member of the defense that had a solid workout was Ron Girault. The defensive back had the second best bench press of all those that participated with 25 reps, was tied for second in the vertical jump at 39.5 inches, and recorded a 10'2'' broad jump that was good for second and was also second in the 40 with a time of 4.46.

"I think Ronny has proven himself as a college football player and one of the better safeties in college football," Schiano said. "Physically, I think he did well today."

While Girault was on-point for the day, Townsend finished on top in the vertical jump (41.5 inches), the 40-yard dash (4.39 seconds), and was tied for the best 20-yard shuttle time with Brandon Renkart (4.10 seconds).

Jeremy Ito, likely to be remembered for kicking the greatest field goal in Rutgers history, said he's improved certain aspects of his game and did what he had to do on Wednesday.

"I thought I did pretty well on the kickoffs, all right around four seconds, I think only two were under four seconds," he said. "My field goals are much better, I have a lot more pop and my kickoffs are much better."

He closed out his workout by nailing a 55 yard field goal with room to spare.

"Actually it was a pretty good kick. It hit 10 net from 55," Ito said.

If punting could be a possibility, Ito said, "My agent keeps telling me to practice just in case. So it's there if I need to."

Rutgers Pro Day was one of the last phases of the pre-NFL Draft scouting process and now it's time to wait and see if all the hard work paid off.


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