A Few Bumps and Bruises

Coach Schiano provides the status of the Rutgers pre-season camp including some surprises.

Barbieri, Givens injuries not serious: Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said that both tackle Howard Barbieri (ankle) and cornerback Darrell Givens (knee) are not seriously injured after going down yesterday in the first day of padded practice.

Schiano hopes that Barbieri will return soon and Givens said that he plans to practice tomorrow.

Freeny banged up: Junior defensive end Jonathan Freeny is dealing with an ankle injury that bothered him after the ice tubs in practice yesterday. Schiano plans to wait and see how Freeny is doing before deciding anything.

Young getting better: Running back Kordell Young had his best day of practice Saturday since returned from offseason knee surgery.

"Yesterday was his best day," Schiano said. "I don't know what that will mean Monday. But yesterday, he's felt the best that he's felt. That should be encouraging, but he has to get in there. We're five practices into this thing. It's going to be game preparation before you know it. I hope, pray because I think he's a very valuable member. It's just a little tricky with that knee."

Walk-on Trahan in mix at tight end spot: Coppell, Texas native Tony Trahan, a walk-on, has impressed Schiano enough to find playing time with the second team along with sophomore Fabian Ruiz.

"Tony is a talented guy," Schiano said. "He has very good hands. He has a maturity about him, emotional maturity, that he handles this stuff very well. That gives him a head start. I think the young tight ends are all good players. Carrezola's been hurt so we haven't really gotten to see what he can do. And Bush is learning. I think as he learns, he has the chance to be really good. It's going to take a little time." Schiano addresses return game: Schiano named Devin McCourty, Tim Brown, Joe Lefeged, Brandon Bing and Mason Robinson as potential kick returners for the upcoming season.

"It's certainly something we need to do better," Schiano said of the kick return game. "We were the middle of the pack last year, which is unacceptable … Who it will be? I think a lot of that will be determined by the situation. I feel comfortable with all of them, kickoff return is not as hard as punt return."

He targeted Lefeged and freshman wide receiver Mohamed Sanu as the leading guys for punt returns.

"Punt return is still in the works," Schiano said. "A guy who is a natural at it is Mohamed Sanu. He is really very good. Joe Lefeged is very good at it. And then there's a bunch of other guys that are competing. We're going to have to see how it goes. Specialists and pre-practice and catching punts is all one thing, having eleven angry guys coming at you and two of them that are going right off the snap changes the dynamics a little bit."

Kickoff Celebration held at Rutgers Stadium: The Scarlet Knights held their annual Kickoff Celebration after Media Day and team meetings, giving the fans a chance to see the expanded stadium and get autographs.

"It's always great to see the fans," said senior quarterback Dom Natale. "They're just so passionate and they make us proud to be Scarlet Knights."


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