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December 19, 2012
In his first season as a full-time starter, Bujari shifted inside to center and has been a steady performer on a Rutgers line that protected well overall and guided Jawan Jamison to a 1,000-yard season. He sat down with Scarlet Nation to talk about the adjustments he had to make this year and how bowl practices have been going:
Matt Hladik: How has this year gone for you? You shifted one spot inside, are you feeling completely like a center now?
Betim Bujari: Yea, definitely. I feel like found my niche. I've just been developing throughout the season and have kept trying to get better and better.
MH: As a center, what was something that going into the season you weren't so sure about your ability to do that you've become more sure of as the season has progressed?
BB: Just the movements and the fronts the defense presents. That's one thing that I thought I would need some time to adjust to, but it came from preparing and watching film. It took care of itself.
MH: Obviously each opponent does different things on the defensive line, but how different is your preparation for those unique schemes as a center as opposed to if you were still at guard?
BB: With the center, I can't just know my position and who I'm going to block. I'm accountable for sending the other four linemen where they have to go. R.J. Dill, Antwan [Lowery], those guys have been great. When I'm in a situation, they have helped me out. It takes a little more preparation I'd say but that's the role you take as a center.
MH: Looking back, are you kind of glad you had the redshirt year (2010), because now you're going to have an extra year to prepare as a center going forward to the next level?
BB: I guess no one really wants to get redshirted, but I think it's the best thing for you. I'm glad it happened and it definitely made me a lot better now then I would have been."
MH: Speaking of redshirts, you guys had a big group of freshmen linemen come in this year. They're all redshirting. What have you seen from those guys in practice as the season has unfolded?
BB: They've got great size, a lot of potential. I've seen toughness, so once they mentally get down the plays and techniques, they're going to be great.
MH: How have these bowl practice sessions gone for you?
BB: We have been focusing on ourselves, just techniques and things we need to improve on. But starting from now, it's going to be all Virginia Tech.