Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
As expected, LB Ryan D’Imperio, C Ryan Blaszczyk and DB Devin McCourty were named captains of the 2009 Rutgers football team.
The three players led stretches before Tuesday’s scrimmage, the first of the year.
“We just found out last night,” D’Imperio said. “It’s something that I never really thought about. I just work as hard as I can and try leading and it’s a good feeling.
“I couldn’t ask for a better group [of captains] to be with,” he added. “They’re great kids, somebody that I’ve been with all four years. And they’ve always been here. They’re hard working and they’re somebody that the whole team can trust.”
**I’m working on a story right now, but clearly D.C. Jefferson helped his stock the most. The 6-6, 245-pound redshirt freshmen went 7-for-10 for 127 yards and didn’t throw a pick. He led the offense to its only TD of the afternoon, a bouncy 1-yard run by freshman RB De’Antwan Williams.
“I think this is a [Wedneday] talk,” head coach Greg Schiano said of Jefferson. “I don’t even think it’s fair to speculate. I can see what you see…I want to watch the tape and then tomorrow we should be able to talk about it.”
**Dom Natale started at QB with the first-teamers and went 7-for-14 for 72 yards with a TD. On the first drive, he fumbled in the red zone on a handoff to Joe Martinek and it was recovered by Brandon Bing at the 17.
“There was a miscommunication between me and Joe. Both of our tracks were probably off a hair here and there and it came together,” Natale said.
Overall, Natale said he was happy with the offense’s performance.
“We communicated well out there with the linemen and the running backs and the receivers.,” he said “And we were all on the same page. There really was no miscommunication.”
**Jabu Lovelace threw two INTs (to Damaso Munoz and Patrick Kivlehan) and was sacked twice(by) Jimmy Dumont but did lead the offense on a scoring drive, capped by a 27-yard FG by San San Te. He finished 9-for-15 for 140 yards.
“That’s what coach tells us every day,” Lovelace said of scoring after the INT. “Just keep chopping, keep chopping. That’s all I was focused on. Just the next play, trying to execute the best I could. Not really worried about the result or anything like that.”
**Antwan Lowery sacked Tom Savage on Savage’s first play from scrimmage but was whistled for a penalty for his horse-collar tackle.
Savage later picked up a snap over his head and fired a nice pass to Pat Brown. He finished 7-for-13 for 60 yards with an INT.
“I just wanted to feel what it felt like to get hit by a Division I player,” Savage said. “It felt pretty good. My offensive line did an awesome job, so I really couldn’t tell you.”
“I’m going to move on and next scrimmage try to get better and just see
Junior WR Julian Hayes was impressive, making seven catches for 135 yards.
Hayes, out of Malverne, N.Y., has positioned himself to land the other WR spot opposite Tim Brown.
“I definitely feel like it’s my time to step in and help these younger guys because I’ve been around and I came up under some great guys with Kenny [Britt] and Ti [Underwood] and with Tim having a little more experience than me out there,” Hayes said.
“Julian is getting better,” Schiano said. “The consistency is gonna be the key, it has been with him. If he can be consistent he can be a real help to our football team.”
**Sr. DT Blair Bines suffered a right leg injury and left the scrimmage.
“Blair went out,” Schiano said. “I gotta find out how he is.”
**De’Antwan Williams looked explosive in scoring a 1-yard TD run and knocking of Andres Morales’ helmet in the process, but Schiano wants to see him pound it more.
“Rocket’s gotta learn to take it up in there,” Schiano said. “Young guy’s mistakes, wants to bounce it. Everybody’s fast at this level.”
**Schiano was also impressed with sophomore redshirt RB Joe Martinek, who carried 10 times for 48 yards looked the most impressive of the backs.
“I though Joe ran hard. I thought Jourdan [Brooks] ran decently, too,” Schiano said.
Brooks carried 12 times for 24 yards and Williams had 8 rushes for 38 yards and a TD.
**Duron Harmon had a sack
**TE Tony Trahan made an impressive 26-yard reception from Savage while holding off a defender
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.