Robinson Leads the Group to Replace Rice

With the departure of Ray Rice, Rutgers will be missing over 2,000 all-purpose yards from its offense. The Scarlet Knights are going to have to find somebody to replace one of the greatest players in school history and Mason Robinson is looking to help Head Coach Greg Schiano fill that void.

Who's going to replace Ray Rice?

That's the question all of the fans Rutgers would like answered. While it will be nearly impossible to replace his 2,300 plus yards from scrimmage last year, the team would like a viable option that can help compliment the explosive passing game and keep the offense balanced.

Mason Robinson is involved in a four-way hunt for the starting running back job and a season of trying to make the Rutgers faithful forget about Rice with Kordell Young, Jourdan Brooks and Joe Martinek. It's been a healthy competition that hasn't been cut-throat between the candidates. The sophomore out of Somerville, N.J. said each guy is learning from the other and improving along the way.

"It's been good," Robinson said about the battle to be top dog on the depth chart. "It's a competition, but we're helping each other out. We all look out for each other. We all communicate and learn with each others reps."

With the departure of Rice, many pundits have the backfield labeled as one of the weakest links on the team since none of the possible replacements are proven players. Robinson doesn't see it that way. He considers it an obstacle that he or any of the other backs can meet and hurdle.

"I don't think we will go backwards," he said. "It will be a great challenge. A challenge we are ready to step in and handle."

While the Rutgers great was breaking tackles and making a name for the program, he was also a mentor to Robinson who said he learned from Rice in the film room and on the practice field.

I learned just by watching him in practice and the different things he sees on film," Robinson said. "I would wonder how he sees certain things on film that I didn't see and he would show me. He would help me break down different defensive schemes."

He may not have a ton of experience, but Robinson did get to sniff the field in a variety of roles last year. He returned 14 kicks and averaged 5.6 yards per run on 36 carries. Having some game experience has helped him prepare better for the upcoming season because now he knows what he's getting himself into and what game speed truly is.

"I know what it's like out there now," Robinson said. "I'm able to prepare myself better than I did last year because I didn't know what to expect last year. Now I have a greater understanding and can prepare myself better."

Tuesday signaled the first day of fall camp and Robinson thought things went alright. There's still some things he needs to work on as camp progresses, but yesterday was just about getting back into the swing of things.

"Could have been better, but I thought I gave a good effort," said. "I wasn't winded, but there was a lot of running so it was just about getting back into it."


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