Commit Catchup: DT Daryl Stephenson

When Sayreville High (Parlin, N.J.) defensive tackle Daryl Stephenson made the expected commitment to Rutgers a month ago, he did so for a variety of reasons. One thing he liked was how he could fit into the defense, and he recently spoke with about where he envisions himself playing in the Scarlet Knights' scheme.

Sayreville High (Parlin, N.J.) defensive tackle and Rutgers commit Daryl Stephenson said he can play anywhere along the defensive line, but there is one spot he really has an eye on.

"I like three-technique," Stephenson said of the position where a player lines up opposite the offensive tackle and guard. "You're in the middle of everything."

Two of the many things Rutgers told Stephenson it liked about him was his footwork and his ability to move around along the defensive line, but his combination of power and explosiveness make him an ideal three-technique player.

As a junior, if Stephenson wasn't shooting through the gap to get into the backfield, he was taking on double- and triple-teams at the line of scrimmage to allow linebackers, like former and future teammate in Rutgers freshman David Milewski, to have clean shots at the ball carrier. But it is a role the 6-foot-2, 275-pound Stephenson relishes.

"My linebackers will be able to make plays," he said. "It doesn't matter."

Stephenson was long a Rutgers lean before committing a month ago, a decision he made because of proximity for his family, the academics of the school and the style of defense the Scarlet Knights employ.

Stephenson believes the attacking defensive style is conducive to him having success.

"I think I could be pretty good because they like to move around, go after the ball and go after the quarterback, and I like that kind of defense," Stephenson said. "I don't like just sitting there and having people try to push me around."

Stephenson is also incredibly athletic, especially as defensive tackles go.

Not only does he also kick for Sayreville, but he also plays basketball. And, he says with a chuckle, he can soar.

"Yeah, I can dunk," Stephenson said. "I can get up there."

Sayreville High's season does not begin until Sept. 11 at South Brunswick (N.J.) High, so it means Rutgers training camp will begin before the Bombers start camp. And that will be give Stephenson the opportunity to make the 20-minute drive to attend some practices.

"I'll come and visit and try to learn some stuff because I want to start as a freshman," Stephenson said. "I'll come up to practices."

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