Shoulder pads go on in practice No. 3

Incoming Freshman Mohamed Sanu was extremely excited for day three of training camp. It would be the first time since spring practice for him, and the rest of the Rutgers football team, to put on the shoulder pads and start some semblance of hitting drills.

"Yeah it felt really good," Sanu said about putting on the pads. "It is exciting because you're that much closer. You're actually getting close to the real thing. You're there but you're not quite there yet. It's one step closer."

Sanu wasn't the only one excited. One could sense a new fire and excitement in the team today, clearly a sign that certain players can't wait to throw on all of the pads and start the seemingly real parts of camp this Saturday.

"The reality is, other than going to the ground, once you put shoulder pads on, you're hitting," Schiano said. "So they were hitting today. Certain kids love contact, other kids like it and others tolerate it. So for the guys who love it, it's a fun day for them."

The freshmen finally got a chance to show off as a unit in front of the team today as Tom Savage and De'Antwan Williams led the offense against Logan Ryan and Darrell Given's defense in an all freshman mini-scrimmage.

"It was sloppy, but it's always fun to see them play against one another," Schiano said of his impressions on the drill.

No one stood out during the drill in Schiano's mind, but the play of freshman walk-on and Texas native Tony Trahan, a tight end, caught his eye.

"During the practice, I thought Tony Trahan caught the ball well," Schiano said.

Both Jourdan Brooks and Joe Martinek significantly stepped up their game as the shoulder pads went on. Brooks, who has visibly slimmed down since his injury during spring practice, does not seem to have lost his power and Martinek has continued to impress.

"Jourdan [Brooks] and Joe [Martinek] are both really practicing pretty well. Joe made some cuts today that were really big time cuts. When those two guys push each other it's great competition and there's nothing better."

The quarterbacks have also continued to improve throughout the summer, Schiano said.

"I think they're all much better than they were in the spring. If they weren't, I think I might jump off a bridge. How much better can they get before Sept. 7? That's what we have to wait and see on."

Redshirt freshman quarterback D.C. Jefferson worked at long snapper today and might work his way into the starting role if he plays well

"If he's the best, he'll be the guy," Schiano said.

Health update
Sanu fully participated in practice minus conditioning drills at the close. Freshman wide receiver Eddie Poole is still limited after a leg injury in the spring. Freshman tight end Paul Carrezola's hamstring has improved since the start of camp, but he left early with an unrelated injury.

"He did more and then a totally different thing got him," Schiano said. "I'm anxious to see."

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