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January 18, 2013
It's been a busy week for former Rutgers defensive tackle Scott Vallone down in St. Petersburg, Fla., as he prepares for Saturday's East West Shrine Game. Vallone made his share of noise on the practice field with multiple reports citing him as one of the better defensive performers on the East squad throughout the week.
Vallone also spent some time at a new position throughout the past week, lining up as a defensive end.
During his first day there, while in a meeting with the defensive line coach, the group was asked 'who are my defensive ends?'
Only three players raised their hands.
That prompted Vallone to jump in and volunteer himself for the position.
"I'll do it," Vallone said.
That led to him line up at both defensive end and defensive tackle throughout the week.
"I've been playing both positions this week," Vallone said Thursday night. "I've been doing a lot. Most of the team stuff I've been playing defensive end and a couple of the defensive tackle reps. In a lot of the one-on-one drills, I made sure I got reps at 3-technique and nose guard so teams can see me doing that as well."
Selflessness is nothing new to Vallone. During his career at Rutgers, he willingly played both nose guard as well as 3-technique. When injury befell one of his teammates on the defensive line, he often shifted from the 3-technique to nose guard and back again.
That was all part of 51 consecutive starts for Vallone, which was capped off by a senior season in which he racked up 52 tackles.
Now, Vallone is learning yet another position.
"I never played defensive end in college," Vallone said. "I played one snap of defensive end in college against Arkansas [in 2012]. One rep through my whole college career."
This past week in Florida has also involved meetings with several NFL scouts.
"I've talked to some teams. It's all basic stuff," he said. "They want to know a little bit about your background. They ask the little trick questions here and there. It's not too bad because I don't have anything to hide. I'm able to put everything out there and just be honest."
Vallone redshirted as a true freshman and the last four and a half years have been pretty much much routine for the former student-athlete. Now, it is much different world as he is experiencing a brand new season in his life.
"Lat year wasn't too hectic for me because I only had one class and I was really just focused on football," Vallone said. "If I was laving the facility early because I had my one class, I was always right back in the Hale Center afterward to watch film. But right now, it's 100 percent focus on this preparation process. It's exciting but a little stressful as well because you don't know what everyone is thinking. There is still a lot of evaluating going on."
Now that his week of practice is through, Vallone appears to have upped his draft stock.
"I try to look back at the things I did this week. I played a new position, I was decently heavy and I thought I got better each day. Wherever that leaves my stock, the decision-makers are going to have to figure that stuff out. I'll just keep doing my best with each and every rep."