Last week, the BTN crew of Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith, and Tom Dienhart visited Rutgers during training camp. They were very positive about the changes made to the program by head coach Chris Ash. You can read about their observations here and view their additional analysis during BTN Live here.
The BTN crew just completed visits to all seven Big Ten East division programs and their praise for Rutgers continues. When Revsine asked Griffith to recall the most memorable thing he has seen after all the visits, he harped on how impressive Rutgers was with these comments:
DiNardo then followed:
Of course, the BTN crew is going to be positive about each team during their visits to training camp. However, these comments carry more weight, since they came after their visits to all seven Big Ten East teams. Here is the video with the full rundown of analysis from the BTN crew regarding the visits they made throughout the East Division.
Yesterday, I wrote about the high percentage of starters that Rutgers returns and why that is a big reason for optimism this season. Big Ten football is won in the trenches and to hear outside analysts rave about both the offensive and defensive lines of Rutgers is very encouraging. Ash did speak positively about the depth and experience he inherited on both sides of the ball earlier this week. With the return of Darius Hamilton, the defensive line adds their best player to a group that includes last season’s starters at the other three positions. The offensive line has to replace left tackle Keith Lumpkin, but has depth and experience to do so. If Rutgers can be more effective in their line play, that should result in them being more competitive against the Big Ten elite this season.
Here is RVision’s recap with offensive line coach A.J. Blazek and interviews with lineman Dorian Miller and Chris Muller:
RVision also spoke with defensive line coach Shane Burnham, as well as lineman Darius Hamilton and Julian Pinnix-Odrick:
The excitement that the players are expressing for this season in these interviews, despite being in the dog days of August and training camp, was great to see. There is an enthusiasm and confidence in their preparation that is exuding from the players. It’s another positive sign and indication there has been a major buy in from key players into the program and culture that Ash has been building since his arrival in December.
There are just 15 days until the opening kickoff for Rutgers at #18 Washington at 2 p.m. est on Saturday, September 3rd. Here is a video Ash posted after practice last night.