The theme of the past week (video) has really been that the Rutgers football team has started to succumb to the New Jersey summer heat. Minor, nagging injuries are starting to pile up across the roster, and there's suddenly reason for concern at every offensive skill position. I'm sure that these same storylines are playing out in camps throughout the country, but every piece of news from the past week has me on the edge and wracked with anxiety. Sept. 2nd and the reassurance of a blowout win over a FCS program can't come soon enough at this point.
- QB: Tom Luicci in his practice recap video sounded middling on the passing game trio of Tom Savage, Mohamed Sanu, and Mark Harrison. What seems like a near certainty at this point is that with Steve Shimko unable to practice, freshman Chas Dodd will be Savage's primary backup and eschew a redshirt. As expected, Jeremy Deering is getting some Wildcat reps.
- RB: Joe Martinek's back and working with the starters. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, third down back Kordell Young hasn't been able to stay on the field in every practice. At least Mason Robinson is healthy. Beyond that, it's anybody's guess at the moment. Is it significant at all that Coach Schiano didn't mention De'Antwan Williams at all when talking about the depth chart earlier in the week? Jawan Jamison is behind fellow freshmen Casey Turner and Jordan Thomas, who both happen to be out for the moment. At least based on camp reports, this area has emerged as an area of concern.
- WR: Slot receiver Quron Pratt is out for a month, leaving Rutgers without two of its projected top four WRs entering the season. Hopefully Pratt returns by mid-September, but he'll miss valuable camp reps and have to quickly shake off rust as Rutgers enters the meat of its schedule. As much reason for optimism there is with freshmen Jeremy Deering and J.T. Tartacoff, the depth of an already young group has taken a considerable hit. Jawaun Wynn impressing early is a minor surprise.
- TE: D.C. Jefferson has emerged as a camp standout. The minor surprise is that Evan Lampert has passed Paul Carrezola for the time being as the #2/blocking tight end.
- OL: Howard Barbieri returned at center, but guard Antwan Lowery is out for the week. Not feeling great about Barbieri struggles with Shotgun snaps. Have all the other roster questions overshadowed any lingering worries?
- DL: Yep, not much of a story here considering that they're really good. Would like to hear a bit more about the redshirt freshmen.
- LB: Dave Milewski saw some time at second team LB, with Jim Dumont moving to the strong side. Reserve backer Marvin Booker is still working his way back from injury.
- DB: Tom Luicci is high on the freshmen Glashen, Waters, and Knight. Marcus Cooper's play has crowded the depth chart at CB.
- S/T: Long snapper Rob Horrell is out for the year.