Quick links:
 Latest Team Rankings
 Free Rivals Alerts
 Member Services
ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports

August 16, 2012

Thompson still running with first-team defense




When Rutgers' season begins at Tulane on Sept 1, there will not be a whole lot of starting experience at the defensive end position. One of those two starters could wind up being a certain player who has taken most of the first-team reps throughout the first half of training camp.

Fourth-year junior Marcus Thompson has been running one the one's and has an inside beat on starting at defensive end on opening day.

Last year was Thompson's first full full one as a defensive end. He started twice, appeared in 11 games and finished the season with 13 tackles.

This time around, Thompson is hoping to make more of an impact.

"I feel more confident with my hands," Thompson said. "I just have to work on my feet but so far so good."

Rutgers features the 'E' and the 'R' defensive end positions and Thompson is feeling right at home at the 'E.'

"I am more of a head up on the tackle player so the 'E' is better for me," said Thompson, who is currently tipping the scale at 251 pounds. "The 'R' plays on the tight end more and coming off the edge more. I like the E, there's more banging at that position."

During his Rutgers' career, Thompson spent some time at linebacker and fullback before settling in last summer at defensive end.

"He's playing faster," head coach Kyle Flood said of Thompson. "Marcus was a high school tailback, so this is like a different world he's living in now. Now that he's been living it for a full year, I think we're starting to see the benefits of that."

As a running back at Boyd Anderson High School in Oakland Park, Fla., Thompson did not envision himself in his current role.

"When I was in high school, I never thought I would be a defensive end," he said. "I played a little defense in high school. I started off as a defensive player as a freshman but then I played more running back. From there, that's what I played. But life is strange."

And what has it been like being a starter through the first half of August?

"It's been great and I'm getting more reps. I'm going against the first-team and I feel like I am playing the better players," Thompson said. "I feel like it's making me better as a player."

The depth chart has not been finalized but if the season were to start tomorrow, there is a very good chance Thompson would trot out with the first-team defense. And until the day of the first game arrives, Thompson is set on going all out each day of training camp.

"I've been giving it 100 percent. When I get done for the whole day, I'm tired and exhausted. I go right to bed and that's how I know I gave it my all."


-------------------------------------------------

All new content written by our staff this week will be free Monday through Friday. If you like the content, please consider supporting the site with a premium subscription. The subscription will give you everything on the main page, including articles of interest (particularly recruiting) from other sites in our network, as well as access to the Round Table (premium forum). The Round Table is where we drop scoops throughout the week and answer our readers' questions. It is also where everyone discusses the articles and other hot topics of the day. We hope you choose to join us!!!!




Rutgers NEWS

[More]

Latest Headlines:


 

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos ScarletNation.com. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2014 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.