Comments from Coach Schiano

Kordell Young will take his first hit against an opposing player when the Knights face Fresno State on Monday since his season ending injury last year.

"Yeah, I think he's OK," Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano said of Young. "I think his brace gives him a little hitch. I don't like to see it, but he says he feels fine and he's running fast.

"Usually, they like you to wear it one year to date. It's getting close."

That 2007 season-ending injury, a torn, left anterior cruciate knee ligament, occurred on Sept. 15 against Norfolk St.

Young's responsibilities have expanded after former Scarlet Knights tailback, Ray Rice, declared himself early for the National Football League.

How does Schiano feel about his inexperienced backfield, which includes Mason Robinson, Jourdan Brooks, Joe Martinek and Young?

"You never know ‘til you do it," he said after Wednesday's practice. "We'll see. I think we got a chance, we can run the football unless they're gonna try to make it where you can't. Then you gotta throw it."

If Fresno State, the Knights' first opponent this Monday, stacks the box, it confronts a hellacious passing game. Quarterback Mike Teel returns here for his final year of eligibility, along with Tiquan Underwood and Kenny Britt, two 1,000-yard receivers.

However, Schiano worries about the Bulldogs' talented organization.

"There's a lot of things, unfortunately," Schiano said. "They have really good skills players. Their offensive line is tough and well-coached, not huge but well-coached."

He also admired Tom Branstater, the Bulldogs' veteran signal caller.

"The quarterback is an exceptional player," Schiano said. "He knows the offense and executes it very well. What bothers me is that he's fast enough to get away from us. It's gonna be a challenge."

Brandstater produced 118 rushing yards last season; defenses sacked him merely 17 times in 13 contests.

For Schiano, other positions remain contentious issues, especially in the defensive backfield.

Although strong safeties Joe Lefeged and Zaire Kitchen rotate with the first team, Schiano said that was not always the case.

"They'll both play. I think we have two starters there," Schiano said. "They both would start so that's good. That's the position you wanna be. Coming out of the spring we didn't feel that way so it's good they'd done that."

Injury Report:

Kevin Haslam returned to practice today for the first time since he sprained his ankle. Schiano said he looked "decent, not 100 percent, but I think he will be by game time."

Anthony Davis, another starter on the O-line, awoke with back pains on Monday and practiced in limited capacity. Schiano said Davis remains "a little sore."

"He's still a little sore," Schiano said. "He had some treatment done today. I think he'll be alright and go tomorrow.

"I thought Anthony would be bopping around here today. He is better so I'm encouraged. I've gone through back problems myself so I know how they come and go."

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