Jefferson feeling tight with position change

Rutgers red-shirt freshman D.C. Jefferson made the move from quarterback to tight end toward the end of training camp, and immediately moved into the rotation and overtook Shamar Graves as the starter. The learning process has been swift, especially since Jefferson said he never played another position. Also, Jefferson addressed whether a switch back to quarterback is in his future.

There were times in high school D.C. Jefferson would ask to play defense, either middle linebacker or defensive end, only to be told he was too valuable at quarterback.

So two months after the Rutgers coaching staff shifted him from quarterback to tight end, there is a big part of Jefferson loving his new career.

"I like the physicalness about it,'' Jefferson said. "That wasn't something I was able to do playing quarterback. I can go against someone every play.''

Jefferson said he is enjoying it so much he doesn't believe a return to quarterback is in his future.

"Honestly, I already switched positions and right now I'm going to focus all my attention on that,'' Jefferson said. "(Playing quarterback) is something I did my whole life, but I feel everything happens for a reason, so now I'm playing tight end. I think I'll focus on that. I don't think I'll want to go back.''

At 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, Jefferson has the physical tools to follow in the Scarlet Knights' stellar tight end lineage, but that seems like an awfully far in the distance.

He is still learning the footwork and hand movements necessary to block, how to run a precise route and, on the occasion a ball is throw his way, making sure he holds onto it.

"As far as running routes and blocking and being physical, I think I got that,'' Jefferson said. "It's just little technique things that plays a big difference. It's taking the right steps, having your hands in the right place. Just little things I'm not used to doing.''

And, yes, catching the ball is a big part of that.

He has three catches in six games, but should have at least one more.

Against Army, Jefferson was wide open, but dropped the pass. And his mind immediately shifted to his days at Winter Haven (Fla.) High, when a receiver would drop one of his passes.

"I thought about that,'' Jefferson said. "It was embarrassing. I don't drop balls. I don't do that.'' Rutgers coach Greg Schiano is thrilled with Jefferson's progress.

"When you play a position for only a month and a half or two, there are going to be ups and downs,'' Schiano said. "He is going to be a great tight end – there is no doubt in my mind that there is a want to and there is a physical ability to.

"When you have those two things it is going to happen. …If you look at him, that is what (tight ends) are suppose to look like."

Odds and ends
Left guard Caleb Ruch returned to practice in a full capacity Tuesday. He injured his ankle in the second game of the season. …With rain in the forecast for Saturday afternoon in East Hartford, Schiano said this is shaping up to be the worst weather season in his nine years at Rutgers.


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