Blaszczyk Will Be Opening up More Holes

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Their offensive line allowed the fewest sacks in the nation in 2006, the second-fewest last year. Rutgers' center Ryan Blaszczyk wants to ensure Rutgers' offensive line extends its tradition to three consecutive seasons.

"It's the tradition we're trying to set here," he said after Monday's training camp drills. " Two years ago we were No. 1 in the country, last year we were No. 2. We want to lead the nation in fewest sacks allowed every year."

Originally situated on the defensive line, Blaszczyk, a fourth year junior, said he transitioned efficiently to center in large part to Kyle Flood, assistant head coach/offensive line coach.

"It wasn't hard to transition," the Medford Lakes, N.J. native said. "Coach Flood's a great coach. I learned so much from him that transition was easy once I got into the film room and starting learning the plays with him."

He also attributed success to his predecessor at center, Darnell Stapleton, who started 2005-06.

"It's college football," Blaszczyk, a Shawnee High School graduate, said. "That's life. You have to wait your turn. I had a phenomenal center in front of me, Darnell Stapleton, and I got to learn all of his game. He taught me a lot in the year I had with him."

The only remaining starter from last year's dominant O-line that drafted three others to the NFL, Blaszczyk has awaited and finally received recognition for his progress.

"I think he's critical," head coach Greg Schiano said of Blaszczyk. "He's the most experienced (member of the offensive line). He's been a leader during the off season. I think that carries over, and he understands the offense so he can teach."

Meanwhile, Blaszczyk said he practices yoga and maintains a strong rapport with his linemates who also protect quarterback Mike Teel.

"The offensive line, in the summer we go out to dinner and grow together, learn to be with each other, have a personal relationship with them," he said.

Despite the impressive offensive numbers by Teel, his wide receiving corpse and backfield in 2007, many believed the Scarlet Knights underachieved.

Blaszczyk hopes to reverse the disappointing campaign.

"We have a good team, great offensive line, we'll be hard working, we'll be focused and hopefully we'll have a much better season than last year," Blaszczyk said.

When the regular season commences on Labor Day and Fresno State linebackers blitz, they will encounter a veteran starting center with game-day experience. Beware for the blazing and blocking machine. He'll be awaiting them.


Scarlet Report Top Stories