Silvestro Beefs Up To Play DT

The days when Alex Silvestro had to keep his weight below 215lbs to wrestle are long gone. With his wrestling days a foregone conclusion, he devotes himself to football and eating.

"Yeah, it's easier," Alex Silvestro revealed after the opening of Rutgers training camp Tuesday. "I eat the whole time."

Silvestro also said he and the defensive linemen are trying to learn from last year and keep moving forward.

Personally, the Rutgers University sophomore defensive end spent this summer focusing on adding weight.

"The off season I put weight on," Silvestro said. "I think I ate more this summer than all of the summers, including the winter. The summer I just ate, lifted hard."

Silvestro attributed the conditioning to Head Football Strength and Conditioning Coach Jay Butler, now in his seventh season with the Scarlet Knights.

"We did the lifting and conditioning here," he said. "JB did a great job with all that. He kept telling us about eating right."

With uncertainties in the defensive front four, head coach and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano has shifted Silvestro inside to defensive tackle.

"I'll play wherever they want me," Silvestro said. "The end's a little bit better but I'll play tackle before nothing."

As the competition increases and several Knights vie for a starting role, Silvestro remains confident about the pressure Schiano places on him.

"I don't think he's really putting any pressure on me," Silvestro said. "He knows in my head that I'm competitive and I gotta go out and do the best I can. This year I should really have a breakout year, stick to it."

"Last year, I felt like I was one step away. I was close. I was not doing much," Silvestro said. "This year, I got a little extra weight, that extra step."

Stopping the run challenged the Knights' defense in the past. Silvestro hopes to reverse that trend this season.

"We kind of noticed there's been a little trouble with us now," Silvestro said. "Everyone is coming back except Foster, which is a huge hole. I'm trying to come in and do the best I can with it. I think the experience we had, and the defensive line in general has been working incredibly hard, and I think with that extra work we've been putting, and the extra work they've been doing with us, we'll be alright, stop the run.

"That's one of our big things on defense to stop the run."

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