Reverting to '06 form - Flipping the field

Teddy Dellaganna spent his Frosh. season at Bakersfield CC where he helped lead the southern Cali. JC to an 11-2 record in 2006. Afer being named one of the top punters, nationally [#5], by Chris Sailer, following his initial collegiate season, Dellaganna would see his destination flip, as he packed his bags for the east coast and joined Rutgers the following year.

Teddy Dellaganna appeared in 10 games in 2006 for Bakersfield CC, averaging 37.2 yards per punt en route to being named the No.5 punter in the nation by the respected kicking analyst Chris Sailer.

Though he arrived at Rutgers sporting an impressive hang time of between 4.8-4.9 seconds on the majority of his kicks, and often times exceeding 5.0 seconds, Dellaganna was redshirted his first season at Rutgers.

"At Junior College, my coach back there, he pretty much taught me almost everything. And then Chris Sailer, he taught me a lot [too]."

Part of Dellaganna's adjustment at Rutgers has involved a greater familiarity with the weather, something that he's now become very accustomed to.

"It's a lot different than back home, and definitely weather-wise. It will be raining the first 10 minutes of practice and then there will be sunshine for the next 10 minutes. It was weird getting used to the weather, but I've been able to get used to it and get used to kicking into the wind."

The prep time spent working on his kicking game has not gone unnoticed and the consistency he's displayed in camp thus far has been nothing short of outstanding.

"That's pretty much what I've been working on all last year, getting my consistency better and getting my averages up. You can't just have a good punt, then a bad punt, followed by a good and then a bad punt. So it's something that I've really been focusing on, getting more good punts in a row off," stated Dellaganna.

The Bulldogs [RU's season opening foe], who will log over 18,000 miles this year to play their college football games (topping the NCAA in this category) - including 2,891 miles of traveling to Piscataway, N.J. - have some fans in the Dellaganna household.

"Everybody back home is excited to see me play, because I was going to play last year and I wound up redshirting and so everybody is excited to see me play. My sister actually goes to Fresno State. My dad has always been a Fresno State fan, but he's not going to root for them. He knows to root for Rutgers now."

Much of Dellaganna's family will be making the extended trip to the east coast on September 1st, and all, Teddy is happy to report, are expected to don their Scarlet gear.

"I've got a bunch of family coming to the [Fresno State] game. All my sisters are coming, and my parents, and my grandparents, and a couple of cousins, and uncles, and aunts."

Often times overshadowed by the glamour of other positions, punters have the potential to control games with a swift boot of the football. Former Scarlet Knight Joe Radigan became such a weapon during the memorable 2006 season, continually flipping the field and placing the Rutgers defense in advantageous situations that permitted them to attack more than they otherwise would have, had the opposition's starting field position been further upfield.

"It's really good for the team to be able to pin people back. If we have to punt from deep in our endzone and we can get the ball out and limit them from getting good field position, and whenever I can flip the field and get a good one and pin them inside the 20 [yard line], it's huge."

If Dellaganna's camp consistency is to translate into game situations, Rutgers fans should expect this facet of Special Teams play to revert back to its 2006 form, with significant flipping of the field in the offing.


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