Vallone Ready To Arrive on the RU Campus

Three-star defensive tackle Scott Vallone out of Melville, N.Y. became a member of the 2008 Rutgers recruiting class rather early. Once he made the decision to don the scarlet last year, that finalized everything for him and he no longer had to check out other colleges.

"It ended for me as soon as I committed," Vallone said. "[The other schools that were recruiting me] were real men about it and didn't keep on coming after me. I knew Rutgers was it."

While that may be the case, when Vallone finally got to sign the letter of intent that said he would be furthering his football and academic career at the State University of New Jersey that was when it all finally hit him.

"It's just the icing on the cake," the 2007 New York Daily News Player of the Year said. "For a lot of kids that is the biggest day of the whole process. It was nice for it to finally be official."

The Scarlet Knights have had an obvious rise in national publicity the past three years, making three bowl appearances and winning two straight. They have also received an increase in attention from NFL teams and scouts, which Vallone likes because it shows that you can position yourself in four years to take your game to the next level.

"It's good, it shows that the opportunity will be there," Vallone said. "If you listen to [Head] Coach [Greg] Schiano on-and-off the field and the opportunity will be there once the time comes."

Before that, Vallone said he has to carve his niche on the team first.

"But I have to crack the depth chart first," the 6-foot-3 250 pound defensive lineman said.

It might be a little while before Vallone gets a shot at moving up the depth chart because he's been injured. He injured his lisfranc ligament in his leg and has had surgery to repair it. Currently, he's still in a cast and expects to have it removed in about two weeks. It will then be put in a walking boot for four weeks and then finally have the screw removed.

Eventually, while at Rutgers, he will start rehabbing it.

"I'll start working on getting my strength back and getting my burst back," Vallone said.

The 2006 New York Catholic High School Football League Lineman of the Year said it's hard to put into words what makes Schiano the right coach for him. One thing Vallone could say though, was the Rutgers head coach has a similar mindset to his powerhouse high school football team.

"It's kind of hard to describe," Vallone said about his future coach. "St. Anthony's was a program that was used to winning and I like how he wants Rutgers to be like that and become National Championship contenders."

The team from Piscataway, N.J. is making strides and getting there, Vallone said.

"They're close, they've taken a few steps," he said.

He's had the chance to talk to Devon Watkis, Eric LeGrand and other commits during the recruiting process and by meeting others that have went through the same things as him the past few years, it will make his first training camp in college easier.

"It's good to know that once I get there that I will be able to get along with some of the guys," Vallone said.

As a sophomore, Vallone recorded 66 tackles, eight for loss, five sacks, three fumble recoveries and an interception. In his third year, he recorded 98 tackles, 52 solo, six sacks, 12 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt. He was named first team All-CHSFL, second team All-State Class AA and was a first team All-Long Island selection by Newsday.

For his senior campaign, he set a school sack record with seven in one game and led his team to their seventh straight league championship with a 10-1 record.

"I came on strong at the end of the year," "I wasn't at the same level in the first six to seven games, but then to my pleasure I came on strong. I finished the season with around 76 tackles, nine-and-a-half sacks, a fumble recovery and 13 tackles for loss."

Vallone is ranked as the No. 35 defensive tackle according to's 2008 High School Football Rankings. He will report to Rutgers on May 27 with Morgan Carter.

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