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December 20, 2012
Opportunity is just on the horizon for Dayton High senior Anthony Cioffi. The first commit to Rutgers' class of 2013, Cioffi will find himself in an immediate battle for playing time as soon as he arrives at Rutgers next year.
Rutgers graduates three senior cornerbacks and with a a very real possibility of Logan Ryan leaving early for the NFL Draft, there will be an almost complete makeover at the cornerback position.
Tejay Johnson would be the only returning member of the current two-deep, leaving plenty of opportunity for Cioffi to see the field during his first season.
Cioffi played safety and quarterback the past two seasons at Dayton, but he does have cornerback experience to draw upon.
"My first two years of high school I played corner," said Cioffi, a four-year starter for Dayton. "The last two I played safety. I actually had a lot action in the passing game my freshman year and not so much my sophomore year because I made my presence known. I had five interceptions my freshman year."
Prior to the start of this season, Cioffi spent a lot of time working on playing cornerback.
"I did summer workouts with Ish Hyman and a couple of other kids. But my old coach, Joe George who is now with South Brunswick, basically taught me everything that I know about playing corner," Cioffi said.
That kind of work will continue before Cioffi arrives at Rutgers.
"I'm playing basketball right now which will probably help me with my lateral movement back and forth," Cioffi said. "Over the spring, I'll probably be doing a lot of workouts with Ish and Saeed [Blacknall]. Working with them is really good reps.
"I want to work on technique. In college there are going to be a lot of fast kids like me so I need to work on my technique and the finer things."
Cioffi made another trip up to Rutgers this past weekend and kept a close eye on the cornerback position.
"I watched a practice and sat in on the meeting," Cioffi said. "There was a lot of juniors there on Saturday checking things out."
This summer's training camp will be a long time coming for Cioffi, who was the first commit to Rutgers' class of 2013 back when head coach Kyle Flood was just a few weeks into his tenure.
Since then, Cioffi has seen recruiting get better and better under Flood.
"It was a little stagnant at first. Kids were just feeling out schools and getting their first offers. Now, it's a big difference from what it first was."