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Spring Practice #8: More black stripes removed

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Today marked the eighth practice of the Spring session and the second scrimmage. The team is past the halfway mark as they prepare for Spring Game on April 23rd.

Today also marked a big day for several players, as five black stripes were removed, signifying game-readiness for those players:

Sr DL Julian Pinnix-Odrick

Sr DL Darius Hamilton

Sr C Derrick Nelson

Sr WR Andre Patton

Fr (!!) RB Trey Sneed

It is no surprise to see Hamilton, Nelson, JPO, and Patton on this list, as they are surefire starters and experienced seniors. However, it is definitely shocking to see Trey Sneed on this list. just a month ago, he was attending classes at high school before making the move to B1G football with no transition period. The early enrollee is first running back to be deemed game-ready, which is a shocker given the talent of Robert Martin and Josh Hicks

This group raises the number of "knighted" players to eight, as they join WR Vance Matthews, NT Sebastian Joseph, and S Anthony Cioffi. Experience has proven to be key in being knighted, as 7 of the 8 knighted players are in at least their 4th year at Rutgers. The lone exception is obviously a huge on in Trey Sneed, who has just spent a month on campus. It will be interesting to see if he gets playing time this fall.

Special Teams Focus

With no media availability at Spring practices, the only information available was through Special Teams coach Vince Okruch, who spoke with the media following practice. He noted that the offense won the scrimmage, which isn't what they were hoping for. He also noted that David Bonagura had a huge day, making all of his kicks. He is currently the only kicker on the roster and has been the guy for the whole Spring. However, Okruch is excited to get Jared Smolar on campus to give Bonagura a true competition. Additionaly, Michael Cintron is the only active punter as Tim Gleeson recovers from back surgery. That means there will two active competitions come fall practice to keep an eye on.

Tight End depth

Okruch also spoke on the pecking order of the tight ends. Matt Flanagan, Nick Arcidiacono, and Charles Scarff seem to have separated themselves as the top tight ends on the roster. Flanagan and Arch are 1 and 1a, which Scarff is option 2. Nakia Griffin-Stewart has been getting all of the "young-guy reps" as well. Essentially, Okruch is confirming that the tight end position will remain unchanged from last year.

QB competition

There is not a lot of information regarding the results of the scrimmage or how the QBs performed. Dan Duggan noted that following practice #7, Hayden Rettig seemed to be primed to take the majority, if not all of the first-team reps.