Former Rutgers Football starting safety and fan favorite Anthony Cioffi took the time to discuss his experience at Rutgers, as well as his preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft. The 6’0” 203 pound Springfield, New Jersey native had an excellent career while at Rutgers. He started all 12 games in 2016, and led all defensive backs in tackles with 63. He also registered two interceptions, and broke up 4 passes during his 2016 season.
Cioffi has experience playing several different roles including DB, Safety, and Special Teams. He had a similar role in high school, flying around the field as a return specialist, safety, and even quarterback. It should come as no surprise that Cioffi always had a nose for the ball while at Rutgers, amassing a total of 8 career interceptions and 13 pass deflections. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time, and in football that is not luck; it was due to his speed, athleticism, and football IQ.
Let’s jump right into our conversation!
What was your favorite moment during your Rutgers career?
“I think when I sacked Teddy Bridgewater it was just something where I felt that it was like wow I am actually out there and it was my first big-time game playing out there at corner. Setting up the team for a possible go ahead touchdown it was a very exciting moment in my life.”
What does it feel like to play in front of your family and friends, as well as representing your State University?
“That was one of the main reasons why I came to Rutgers. I wanted my family to be at every game and I really took pride in that because I didn't want them to travel across the country for me. I wanted them to take a thirty minute ride down route 22 and come watch and be able to see me whenever they could; so that’s something I really took a lot of pride in.”
What is your take on Head Coach Chris Ash and the new staff going forward?
“I loved it when I was there for that short time, they really took pride in what they did and they were about business and you could see that their teachings are top tier and they have been to places where programs want to go, like National Championships, so I feel that these guys are listening to them and taking heed to what they have to offer and using them so they can benefit themselves and grow as a football player.”
Who is your favorite NFL player?
“I would say Eric Weddle. He's just an animal, he's all over the field. He’s someone that I have been watching his film a lot and trying to mimic him and what he does because he is a very good football player. He knows the game inside and out, so that’s someone who I always like to watch.”
Where are you currently training and for how long?
“So I am here in Atlanta, Georgia with Chip Smith Performance Systems. This is where I have been since January 11th, and I am staying here until March 3rd.”
With respects to your training is there anything in particular you are working on?
“I have been doing a lot of combine based drills, stuff that I will be doing at pro-day like footwork with Ray Buchanan. He's our DB coach and he's really working us out hard. Stuff I really want to focus on is the explosion stuff and obviously try and get my forty time down.”
You want to get your forty time down from a 4.3?
“Yeah, I still have a couple weeks left so I am still working hard. Today was a great day, we did a lot of band stuff, resistance bands, and forty work, and I feel like it is something I can only get better at.”
What is your goal time when running the forty?
“Well granted that I saw that I could run the 4.3 I want to try and get lower than that, high 4.2s, mid 4.3. It’s something where I want to turn heads and that’s something where people I feel will take a chance on me.”
What is your goal when attending Rutgers Pro-Day?
“I want to show off that I am a very versatile player, I get in and out of my breaks fast, and have fast hips. Also show I have good hands so I just want to show them that I am the complete package because I can do anything from special teams, if you need me to go on offense I’ll go on offense, defense; its just something where I want to show them that I can do it all.”
Learn more about Chip Smith Performance Systems here, including his past client list which includes Colin Kaepernick, Brian Urlacher, Champ Bailey, et. al.
One of Cioffi’s coaches is Ray Buchanan, former pro-bowl NFL cornerback/safety who was drafted out of the University of Louisville in 1993 by the Indianapolis Colts in the 3rd round. Buchanan registered 819 tackles, 47 interceptions, and 4 touchdowns.
Here is Anthony running the 40-yard dash at 4.30 seconds flat. That time will certainly turn some heads and would register the fastest 40 time in Big Ten History. Cioffi is a jack of all trades, winning the New Jersey High School 100-meter dash title back in 2012.
Want to see how fast 4.30 is? Check it out for yourself.
All of Rutgers faithful is rooting for Anthony:
@Acioffi06 keep showing everybody that 4.3 speed bro— Eric LeGrand (@EricLeGrand52) February 11, 2017
@Acioffi06 Hope everything is going well Anthony. Im praying for you progress and domination. Keep grinding and rep RU.— Dream.Believe.Grind (@D_B_G_Athletics) February 10, 2017
We already know that Cioffi has excellent speed, but he also exhibits tremendous toughness and great hands as he shows in the play below, picking off former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, current backup quarterback for the New York Jets.
Check out the rest of Anthony Cioffi’s highlights below:
Thanks again to Anthony Cioffi for the taking the time to speak with me and offering his insight into his career and future career. And of course we here at On the Banks wish nothing but Anthony the best in his pursuit of his dream to play in the NFL!