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August 27, 2012

The Monday Morning Kickoff



Game week has arrived and Rutgers has already begun preparations for its season opener against Tulane. With the first contest of the 2012 season a mere five days away, The Monday Morning Kickoff gets you ready for a new week of Rutgers football.

Training camp officially concluded last Thursday and Friday began the start of preparations for the season opener against Tulane on Sept 1.

"We finally got a game plan started to be installed. It's new and if it's new, it becomes exciting," head coach Kyle Flood said.

Rutgers escaped the summer without many serious injuries. Defensive tackle Daryl Stephenson suffered a broken bone in his foot and he will be sidelined for the season. Other than that, Paul James and Quanzell Lambert suffered high ankle sprains, which will likely keep them on the shelf for the month of September although that is not etched in stone.

There have been some day-today issues, but the Scarlet Knights have done a good job of keeping themselves free from injury.

"It is certainly Jeremy Cole, our strength and conditioning coach. That plays a part in it," Flood said. "I think we had minimal pulled muscles, those type of things. It's a testament to how they do things."

Rutgers will also be without fourth-year junior defensive end Michael Larrow for the first four games due to a suspension for a violation of team policy.

The month of August was the first for the incoming freshman class and it looks as though four of them will play their first college game on Saturday against Tulane. Those four first-year Knights are kicker Kyle Federico, defensive tackle Darius Hamilton, linebacker Steve Longa and wide receiver Leonte Carroo.

The other freshmen who currently have a chance of playing this season are defensive end Julian Pinnix-Odrick and wide receiver Ruhann Peele while offensive guard Derrick Nelson has an outside shot as well.

Peele was part of a strong freshman wide receiver group that also featured Carroo, Carlton Agudosi and Ian Thomas.

"As a unit, we have a lot of depth at receiver," said third-year sophomore wide receiver Brandon Coleman. "That's a good thing, to be able to rotate. The rotation was smooth in camp. I think we did a good job. I helped the freshmen understand the playbook conceptually and get their feet wet with a lot of reps. We did a good job with that."

Rutgers will practice today at 2:45 p.m. and Flood will hold his weekly press conference at 11:30 a.m. from inside the Hale Center.

Recruiting closed out the week on a high note as Rutgers received its sixteenth commitment to the class of 2013. American Heritage defensive back Bryant Gross of Plantation, Fla., offered up his verbal to Rutgers Friday night.

Gross held 15 offers and chose Rutgers over other finalist Purdue.

"It came down to me speaking with my family," said Gross. "I spoke to them and we figured that Rutgers was the best fit for me. Nothing against Purdue; I like what they had to offer. But I narrowed it down to three things: football, academics and environment."

In other recruiting news, former St. Peter's Prep class of 2011 standout Sheldon Royster is rumored to be looking to transfer out of South Carolina and Scarlet Nation has learned from sources that it is looking 'very good' that Royster will transfer to Rutgers. Royster would play safety at Rutgers after sitting out the 2012 season as per NCAA transfer rules.

Royster was a four-star recruit in the class of 2011, the No.6 ranked prospect in the state of New Jersey and the 189th ranked prospect in the nation according to Rivals.com.

Stay logged onto The Round Table premium forum for all the latest recruiting news as it unfolds.



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