Jason McCourty Looking for a Big Year

CB Jason McCourty will be starting at corner alongside his brother Devin for the second consecutive season. He locked down opposing wide outs with a team high 12 passes broken up and will be looked upon to help lead an experienced Scarlet Knight secondary.

Jason McCourty will be looked upon to shut down opponents' wide receivers this season for a Rutgers team who's looking to make its fourth straight bowl appearance.

It shouldn't be too hard for him since he will be playing alongside his brother Devin. This isn't a new scenario for the twins. They started together for the Scarlet Knights in all 13 games last year, and have been playing on the same team since they were 11.

Head Coach Greg Schiano has always embraced the "F.A.M.I.L.Y." slogan with his players so they could form a more cohesive unit. There's position battles going on during camp and all of the players in those competitions have said is even though they want the starting job, they also want to help their teammate.

McCourty isn't competing with his brother to move up the depth chart, but he and Devin take Schiano's motto to another level since they dorm together and play the same position.

"We're able to critique each other," McCourty said about how he and Devin discuss what they see on film. "We'll be looking at film and he'll yell over to me what I have to do on a play. We're like our worst critics and that helps a lot."

McCourty will be apart of a very experienced defense and secondary. The defensive backfield is led by one of the best safeties in the country in Courtney Greene; Devin McCourty is a fourth year junior and whoever wins the strong safety position between Zaire Kitchen and Joe Lefeged.

"We got eight returning starters, so we have a lot of experience," McCourty said about the Rutgers defense. "You can look at those who've been around the game and they're trying to help those who are coming up."

Big things are expected out of McCourty in 2008 after he showed what a dynamic corner he was last season when the Knights went 8-5 and beat Ball St. in the International Bowl. The bowl was one of his better games where he broke up three passes and posted six tackles in a year where he registered 44 tackles. He had a season best eight tackles, including one-and-a-half for loss, against Maryland and five tackles against the Huskies.

What's suprising about his '07 campaign was he led the team with 12 passes defended, but didn't intercept a single pass. His brother led the team with two picks and was second on the team with seven passes broken up.

The former All-League standout performer out of St. Joseph's in Nanuet, N.Y. shouldn't have a problem prepping for the 2008 season since he's tested by some of the best receivers in the Big East every day at camp. McCourty has his choice of guarding 2007 First Team All-Big East wide out Tiquan Underwood, or second teamer Kenny Britt. Both were 1,000 yard receivers last year and lining up against either one will have him ready to go up against anybody on the schedule.

"When you have two receivers of their caliber it's going to help in practice," McCourty said about Underwood and Britt. "You're practicing against better receivers than you may see in the game. So just competing against those guys is going to help in the game."

There's an energy with this year's version of the Knights that has McCourty saying this is the best camp he's been apart of during his tenure in Piscataway and he expects his last year in scarlet to be special.

"I love our enthusiasm so far," he said. "This is the best camp I've been apart of. Coming out to every practice you just have to do well and not have to worry about people not running. It's fun watching everybody go at it hard."

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