As the season and school year approaches, the Rutgers football players are preparing themselves to learn on and off the field. As students, they are preparing themselves to take notes and pull all nighters to brace themselves for exams. The student athletes are preparing to apply the knowledge they’ve learned on the field from last season to the grid iron this year.
Cornerbacks coach Henry Baker is imploring that the secondary learns from their mistakes from the past. The Scarlet Knights have vivid memories of how their week one opponent scorched them a year ago. The Washington Huskies scored a whopping 48 points on the Knights in the 2016 opener. Baker emphasized that his veteran corners have grown and are skilled enough to right their wrongs. Baker knows that he is fortunate to have Blessuan Austin anchoring his secondary. Austin is the only Rutgers player to receive Big Ten preseason honors. Baker is very optimistic that his other players are ready to step up as well.
When asked if the team watches film of the big touchdown plays the secondary let up against the Huskies last season, Baker stated “Only to reiterate how far they’ve come”. Coach wants his team focus on the task in front of them. Baker has confidence that his returning corners are ready to play hard and are committed to getting better.
Baker praised the intelligence of junior defensive back Isaiah Wharton, whom he called “cerebral and methodical”. He trusts Wharton to be a leader on the field.
When asked about Damon Hayes, coach expressed how his physical attributes are a huge help on the field. Baker believes Hayes speed and length is “key for the slot”. Coach Baker referred to Hayes as a “production magnet”. Hayes physical gifts give him the ability to be used in blitzing situations.
Baker did elude to Edwin Lopez and Tim Barrow making strides in the competition for defensive back positions. He is impressed with these two players and their willingness to take on roles on special teams and compete.
The upbeat attitude and confidence from the cornerbacks coach is great for Rutgers fans. Suring up mistakes and focusing on progress is a focal point of the game plan going into the season. Coach knows his players and seems to be impressed by the growth of his team. As the season approaches, his players are fired up and prepared learn from every loss.