Notes: D.C.'s Blocking, Injuries, Pos. Switch

Rutgers tight end D.C. Jefferson is now comfortable with his move from quarterback, and one of the biggest places it is showing is in his improved blocking. He talks about what has changed, and why. Also, coach Greg Schiano gives an update on the injury to starting center Howard Barbieri, and defensive end Dave Silvestro talks about what he sees in converted offensive lineman Antwan Lowery.

PISCATAWAY – Rutgers tight end D.C. Jefferson has a better understanding of the proper footwork needed to block, and his ability to use his hands to hold off defenders is markedly improved.

But the biggest reason Jefferson is improved when it comes to blocking is his confidence, and his attitude toward blocking.

"I think the most important thing about blocking is wanting to block, and being physical with it,'' said Jefferson, a converted quarterback. "I know more now. I know that at any given time I won't go out there and get beat, and now that I learn more, and know more, I want to do it.

"I never had a problem blocking. It was just with the little technique stuff that was a big thing that I had to overcome.''

Jefferson, who is 6-foot-6, 245 pounds, is the leading candidate to be Rutgers' top tight end target.

After making the transition to tight end late in training camp last August, Jefferson made five catches for 108 yards, but inconsistencies as he learned to block cut into his playing time.

"I just want to be consistent in everything I do, as far as the blocking, the catching, all the little assignment stuff,'' Jefferson said. "Based on footwork, and stuff, I'm more consistent. I'm doing it more and more. Everything is not going 100 miles per hour. I'm more consistent.''

Barbieri update
Schiano said center Howard Barbieri, who injured his left knee during Monday's practice, is out for the spring but will be ready for the start of the season.

"He's going to be ok,'' Schiano said. "He doesn't need surgery, so that's good.''

Silverstro touting Lowery
Rutgers defensive end Alex Silvestro is yet to go against right guard Antwan Lowery, a converted defensive tackle, but he has watched him plenty of times in practice.

"I've been watching him and I'm impressed,'' Silvestro said. "The kid's got some natural talent. He's got a pretty good punch and good backstep. That's a good base.''

Givens to safety
Darrell Givens was moved from cornerback to safety, and Schiano spoke about it.

"Just tinkering around a little bit,'' Schiano said. "Trying to get the best people in position.''

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