Schiano Provides Update on Scarlet Knights

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano held his annual charity golf tournament Monday. The event raised $60,000 for a pair of charities, and during the fun-filled day the Scarlet Knights coach took the time update a number of topics. Among the things Schiano discussed was expansion, injuries, the five freshmen who enrolled earlier this month, walk-ons, building leadership and a pending series with Temple.

BEDMINSTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Texas is staying in the Big 12, the Pac-10 now has 11 teams and there are questions whether the Big Ten will remain at 12 teams, or add two or four more.

And that doesn't even begin to factor in whether the ACC adds another team, or if the Big East expands with Memphis and Central Florida.

But whatever happens in college football's landscape, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano believes Rutgers is a tremendous position.

He made the comments Monday night at his charity golf tournament, which raised $60,000 for a pair of charities, Athletes in Action and the Embrace Kids Foundation, at Fiddler's Elbow Country Club.

"I think our location is something that is very valuable,'' Schiano said. "I think we've established that academically and athletically, we're going to do things the right way and have favorable results. But what that means …we're not campaigning for anything.

"But I've said that along. Why the heck would I have stayed here if I didn't believe that? That's what I believe. I think we're in the right spot, and I think everything goes through cycles, and we're in a good position in this cycle. We'll see."

The five freshman
Class of 2010 linebacker Marcus Thompson, quarterback Chas Dodd, offensive lineman Rob Forst, running back Casey Turner and receiver Jeremy Deering are already enroll, with the rest of the class set to begin classes June 28.

Given Rutgers' lack of depth at quarterback, the ability and development of Dodd is always a hot topic.

"Chas came up for a week in spring football," Schiano said. "His spring break, he spent the whole week with us. Chas is a coach's son. He's lived the game as well as played it. He's a strong cookie. I don't want to anoint him as the savior, but he's going to be really good. I really like the three guys that we have in that mix right now.

"He came to our camp, he's got one of the strongest arms I've ever seen, which is something for a 6-foot or under guy."

During the summer sessions, NCAA rules prohibit Schiano, and the rest of the staff, from watching the players work out and meet with to watch film and go through the playbook, but the time is still valuable.

"It's great to have those five freshmen start now and the rest will start at the end of the month,'' Schiano said. "I think there's a really good feel around the building with the guys. I think there's really a good spirit.

"I think there's really a good feel around the building with the guys. I think there's really a good spirit. What that guarantees you is nothing, but it's better than the alternative."

Pat Morris, John Mauer of Athletes in Action and Greg Schiano (Photo by Bill Storer)
Schiano credited his staff not only for a strong recruiting class, but also for bringing in a number of preferred walk-ons, including Lodi defensive end Joe Falato, West Morris running back Michael Burton, Wagner transfer quarterback Tyler Bellia, Immaculata kicker Nick DeLouise, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) long snapper Rob Horrell and Hunterdon Central offensive lineman Brian Leoni, all of whom have already been reported by

Since none of the players have signed binding paperwork, Schiano cannot talk about them individually.

"I think our staff has done a very good job, not only with recruiting scholarship guys, but also the walk-ons,'' Schiano said. "They're good players. They may help us earlier than later. That's good.''

Building leadership
The coaching staff not having much contact with the players during the summer, but Schiano views that as an important time.

"That's the reason I think summer is such a critical time in the development of our team,'' he said. "The chemistry of our team, the leadership of our team, those guys really do run the show, and they do a good job. We have some young leaders, we have some older leaders. I like it that way."

Needing more from Te
In looking back at spring and also viewing the upcoming season, Schiano said he talked to placekicker San San Te about the need to be better.

"I think he's a junior now, it's time for him to be more consistent,'' Schiano said. "He and I have talked, and I think he's an incredible athlete. He is an athlete. But what we need is for him to be a consistent kicker.

"Whether he does the kickoffs, I don't know, but the placekicking, we need him to be consistent. He'll tell you that himself. He's got all the skill to be as good as there is day-in and day-out.''

Injury report
The list of players missing part or all of spring practice was filled with two-deep players, but Schiano said center Howard Barbieri (knee), running back De'Antwan Williams (knee) and offensive linemen Desmond Wynn (shoulder) and Antwan Lowery (hand) were all doing well and should be ready for training camp.

Embrace Kids Foundation's Rob Brown, Pat Morris and Greg Schiano (Photo by Bill Storer)
Schiano added running back Joe Martinek, who had surgery after spring practice to repair a torn ligament in his hand, did was progressing well.

"I think it's something that should have been fixed, so we did it,'' he said. "I don't think it's anything that is going to limit him.''

Also, Schiano said running back Kordell Young, who is coming off his third reconstructive knee surgery, was doing well, but did not say if he would be ready for the start of camp.

"When you're talking about a third surgery, you always worry,'' Schiano said. "But he sure is enthused. …You talk about a guy who is a Rutgers man, Kordell does things right. He's a tremendous role model for our younger guys."

Rutgers vs. Temple
A four-game series with Temple is not yet signed, but it is close to being done. Each team would host two games, with the first one being in 2015.

"I think that might work out,'' Schiano said. "I know there's a lot of banter out there. I think it's going to happen. I think it's a good series.''

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