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Nonroster stuff

Looks like The Quad will publish their RU preview today, with the Knights coming in at #34. I'm looking forward to it, because they usually do a great job with those.

Kenny Britt is off to Nashville this Friday for his first full training camp.

"The nerves are gone. The only thing that I was really nervous about was the playbook," Britt said outside The Arts Factory Theater and Lounge. "The playbook is really easy, so that really helped."

Football walk-on Nick Libonati is eager to earn playing time this fall. I liked the bit about promoting Rutgers in his home town too.

The Scarlet Knights coaches look for their guards to pull on power sweeps. Speed and quickness trumps pure size and power. Libonati has shed weight, from 310 pounds to 285 pounds, to achieve the speed the coaches are looking for on those sweeps.

Coming from a high school team that threw the ball on most downs, Libonati said he has spent the last year working on his run-blocking technique.

"It's ((Rutgers offense) much more balanced," he said. "I have to work on by run blocking technique."

I saw a link to an article on future walk-on Joe DeNovellis yesterday on Rivals too.

With apologies to Brian Bennett, the claim that

Hardly anyone would dispute that this is, at least on paper, a down year for the Big East.

is just silly. Strength is a relative term. Do the BE teams have talented youngsters ready to contribute? Have they collectively lost more than the other conferences? Those are the key questions at the heart of the matter. There's no doubt that we'll see parity this year, and probably not a lot of offensive firepower. As last year's ACC showed, don't make the mistake of conflating those two factors with conference strength.

Corey Chandler and Pat Jackson are going on a tour of Eastern Europe. April Sykes has had to endure the departures of several teammates over the past few months.

L.J. Smith is finally healthy, and looking to revitalize his career.

Pitt Blather's Chas Rich posted a brief summary over the reaction to the recruiting lounge announcement at the AOL Fanhouse. Peter Karavites wrote in to the APP to protest their awful op/ed from a week and a half ago.

Lane Kiffin is pulling a page out of Greg Schiano's playbook with a plan to run billboards in Florida.

Kevin Devaney points out the obvious:

Marrone, from what I’m told, is aggressively trying to win back the support of New York State football coaches who were turned away from former Syracuse coach Greg Robinson and into the hands of Rutgers coach Greg Schiano.

It'd be hard to do any worse. Marrone may repair those relationships to an extent, but geography will always be in his way (there are eight FBS schools closer to NYC than Syracuse), and it will take years to reverse GRob's carnage on the program. Besides: isn't this public squabbling all for naught given that New York City doesn't produce much in the way of football talent? Whatever misguided concerns the Syracuse program has should be concerned with capturing the attention of NYC viewers, not its recruits.

According to the Princeton Review:

At Rutgers, the survey found that "class discussions are rare" but "athletic facilities are great." Also: "Everyone loves the Scarlet Knights ... student publications are popular" and there is "lots of beer drinking" and "hard liquor is popular."

If you look at the "survey"'s methodology, it's a mess.

GOP Governor candidate Chris Christie unveiled his higher ed platform yesterday. It's rather sparse, full of feel-good language that isn't particularly meaningful, and light on specifics when it comes to the big questions (i.e., funding). Don't necessarily take that as a criticism; I just don't think that it means anything in either direction. I have been working on a post about whether the Governor's race would have an impact on this issue or not (early, pessimistic for RU conclusion: probably not). Christie has such a big lead at this point that it makes sense to be as vague as possible, so as not have to break promises later.

The Times had a great article Monday detailing the history, and ins and outs of political corruption in New Jersey. The two key points, IMO: 1. Defanged press is no longer a viable watchdog, and 2. "Boroughitis" and home rule practically invite the behavior.