Notes: Lefeged's New Role, Stand outs, etc.

One of the areas Rutgers is retooling for the upcoming season is in the secondary, where two new starters are needed. It is putting more responsbility on strong safety Joe Lefeged to be a leader, but how is it benefitting him? Also, Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano discusses the play of two of the younger Scarlet Knights expected to make big contributions in 2010.

PISCATAWAY – Long before Joseph Lefeged got to the spring practice field, the senior strong safety knew things were different.

With cornerback Devin McCourty and free safety Zaire Kitchen gone, Lefeged is in charge of the secondary, a responsibility re-enforced every day now that spring practice is underway.

"It notice it pretty much, both on the field and off the field,'' Lefeged said. "It's making different checks on the field as a defense, and just knowing the young guys are watching me know, so I need to lead in the meetings. It's getting everybody together to do the little bit extra that will help us in the end.''

And, actually, the redundancy is going through a play or scheme for the younger players is aiding Lefeged.

"When you're able to teach it, when you're able to tell somebody, that means you know so much more,'' he said. "I think it helps me, rather than takes time away from me. When you're able to teach it back, it goes through your mind again. It's repetitive.''

Sophomore David Rowe is at one cornerback spot, and Brandon Bing the other. But freshmen Logan Ryan, Abdul Smith and Darrell Givens are each competing for playing time at cornerback, and sophomores Khaseem Greene and Duron Harmon are competing for the free safety position.

It means there is a lot of youth in the secondary, and although it takes time for everyone to mesh, Lefeged said it is happening.

"I guess I already started feeling it now, especially hanging out with them off the field,'' Lefeged said. "We do a lot of things together, especially in the weight room. We're always together. In the film room, we're always together. When we do extra things, we're always together.''

Ryan standing out
Of the trio of young cornerbacks, competing for playing time, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said Ryan is "doing the best.''

That doesn't come as a surprise to Lefeged.

"Logan Ryan is doing a great job right now,'' Lefeged said. "It's his footwork, and he can take it from the meeting room and do it right on the field within a couple of hours. Certain things that we go over that might be difficult, some people may not get it. He'll get it right away, and his man-to-man coverage is good.''

Wright's development Rutgers red-shirt sophomore receiver Tim Wright is performing well in practice, and it has caught the attention of the coaching staff.

"He's gotten much better,'' Schiano said. "Tim's a guy who's making strides. He's just playing football better. Everything he's doing, he's just raised his game. So hopefully he'll continue to do that.''

Extra points
Marcus Witherspoon was not at practice because of personal issues. "We'll see. Hopefully, it's not too much,'' Schiano said. …Bound Brook linebacker Andrew Campolattano, East Stroudsburg (Pa.) High cornerback Kyshoen Jarrett and Immaculata High cornerback Ish Mack were at practice. …Also at practice were Rutgers Signees Rob Forst, David Milewski, Jordan Thomas, Sam Bergen and Chas Dodd were at practice.

Scarlet Report Top Stories