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August 7, 2013Training camp has provided a proving ground for Rutgers redshirt freshman wide receiver Carlton Agudosi. Through the first six practices of the summer, Agudosi has taken advantage of that opportunity and asserted himself as one of the top players on the offensive side of the football.
"I'm feeling good out there. I actually know the plays and know the system instead of being out there thinking about what I have to do," Agudosi said. "I got this now. I'm starting to get more comfortable in the offense."
A graduate of Franklin High School, just a 20-minute drive from Rutgers, Agudosi has made quite a bit of progress since arriving in Piscataway last June.
"I think when he came here he was a tall receiver. Now he is a tall, athletic and strong receiver," head coach Kyle Flood said. "I think he's had an excellent offseason program with Coach [Jeremy] Cole and his staff and I think that shows. He is about 10 to 15 pounds bigger than he was as a true freshman and he has to be about six percent body fat at the most, so it's all lean muscle that he put on.
"What that does for you is it allows you to run better routes. It allows you to be stronger in the air. It allows you when the defender does get his hands on you, to not be moved as far as maybe you would moved if you weren't as strong. All those things are what you're seeing out there."
One area Agudosi has upgraded is his consistency when it comes to catching the football.
"I really tried to focus on that because in the spring I was dropping too many. I got on the jug machines and got my hands stronger," Agudosi said. "I just focus on the ball and keep trying to look it in. That's what I am trying to focus on."
Agudosi's play has gotten him more and more playing time with the first-team offense as camp moves on.
"If the coaches don't see you making plays, they aren't going to put you in," Agudosi said. "In spring ball, I made a play here and there, but this training camp I really wanted to make sure I make the most of every chance I get."
During the first week of training camp, Agudosi has also shown that he is now a much better blocker.
"We do a lot of technique work. I didn't care about blocking back in high school but since I got here I have gotten way better," Agudosi said. "Going against Logan [Ryan] and all of them last year when I was on the scout team really got me prepared."
It has been a while since Agudosi has played in front of a live crowd. Since his days on the high school gridiron, he's only stepped into the spotlight during the spring game and most recently, last Sunday's open practice in Piscataway.
Agudosi did not disappoint Rutgers fans on Sunday as he had the biggest play of the day on a 40-plus yard reception.
"All my cousins came down from Boston to watch [on Sunday]," Agudosi said. "Usually at this time in the summer, we all go to my cousin's and meet up. I couldn't go this year because I was at training camp. So they all came down and saw me. They were all excited because they never saw me play football before."
There could be a lot more in store as Agudosi could be headed for his share of playing time this season which could come as early as game No.1 against Fresno State.
"I am definitely looking forward to it; first college game, first time to Cali, first time playing on TV," Agudosi said. "There are a lot of exciting things going on."
It is still relatively early in training camp, but Agudosi has already made tremendous strides and looks as though he will be a big part of the Rutgers offense for years to come.
"I am hungrier this year. Last year, I kind of knew I was going to redshirt but this year there is an opportunity for me to play. So I am just going to go out and get it."