WR Pratt Shows Growth, Aims for Strength

Rutgers wanted to sort out its receiver situation in the spring, and the play of red-shirt freshman Quron Pratt certainly helped. He was consistent throughout the spring and showcased his ability in an eight-catch, 55-yard performance in Saturday's Scarlet-White spring game. Pratt discusses the difference in new receivers coach P.J. Fleck, and what he needs to work on the most in the offseason.

PISCATAWAY – Rutgers red-shirt freshman receiver Quron Pratt concluded his strong spring with a game-high eight catches for 55 yards in Saturday's Scarlet-White game, but the production didn't produce a complete smile.

"I had a fumble,'' he said.

Aside from that, though, Pratt's emergence in the spring was something the Scarlet Knights needed as they try to build much-needed depth in the receiving corps while replacing speedy slot receiver Tim Brown.

And while Pratt doesn't possess Brown's sub 4.40-second speed in the 40-yard dash, at 6-foot, 177 pounds, he brings a bigger body and different style of play to the slot position.

"I was behind (Brown) every day last year,'' Pratt said. "He was so great on the field, off the field. I watched him in the meeting room, in practices, and just followed him to see what I could do to help me be like him.

"Tim Brown is quick. I'm not as quick as Tim Brown. I've been a runner for a long time, so I have a long stride. Tim Brown, he was so quick.''

Cutting down the longer strides is part of the change in technique Pratt is working on with new receivers coach P.J. Fleck, who went back to the basics with Rutgers' receivers when spring practice break began.

"We worked on our releases, our footwork,'' Pratt said. "He brought different things to us. It was getting off the line and getting our release, and (running) our routes better so with the quarterback, our connection could be better and he can get the ball out sooner.''

One of the stressing points Fleck brought was the need to find holes within the defense, and Pratt's understanding of open areas was evident in the Scarlet-White game. Afterward, coach Greg Schiano remarked at Pratt's ability to get open.

"He's a kid that has a knack,'' Schiano said. "There are some guys that just make plays.''

Another thing Pratt will work on before August training camp is his increasing his strength and size.

"I've got to get my weight up,'' he said. "I'm at 177 (pounds), and I'd like to be at 185, 190 by the time season starts. I can take (the pounding) now because of my toughness, but I'd like to be bigger just for durability.''


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