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April 29, 2013

The Monday Morning Kickoff

Football wound down in Piscataway on Saturday with Rutgers' annual spring game, which took place in front of an estimated 21,000 fans. The new hoops hierarchy is now in place at Rutgers and The Monday Morning Kickoff gets you caught up on all that and more.

A view from the gridiron (Rutgers Football)
Rutgers concluded its 2013 spring practice with its annual Scarlet-White game on Saturday when the Scarlet squad came away with a 57-19 victory over the White team. At halftime, three players were honored for their performances this spring.

Senior defensive end Marcus Thompson earned the Frank R. Burns Award, which is given to the player who displays extraordinary mental and physical toughness during spring practice.

Redshirt freshman Desmon Peoples walked away with the Mark Mills Second Effort Award, given to the Most Improved Offensive Player. And redshirt freshman cornerback Ian Thomas earned the Douglas A. Smith Award for his efforts as the Most Improved Defensive Player.

"I kind of did expect it," Thomas said of winning the award. "I have been out there working my tail off all spring so it is good to see that hard work pays off."

Junior quarterback Gray Nova capped off an excellent spring, finishing 11-of-16 for 222 yards and three touchdowns.

"I think I progressed pretty far," Nova said after the game. "The way I ended the season last year wasn't a good feeling, so I was hungry to come out here and get that much better and do whatever I needed to do to put myself in the best position to be the quarterback for this team and lead these guys."

There were plenty of recruits in attendance for Saturday's game and junior safety Rasaan Stewart of Perkiomen Valley left Piscataway with an RU offer.

"This is definitely a big pick up for me," Stewart said of the RU offer. "I really like the team and the coaches and feel comfortable. I have a good feeling so far I just have to get to the campus and spend a little bit more time with the Rutgers family."

Stay logged on to Scarlet Nation all week for spring practice positional breakdowns, up-to-the-minute recruiting coverage and more.

The take from center court (Rutgers Basketball)
Rutgers officially introduced new head coach Eddie Jordan on Tuesday at a press conference inside the College Avenue Gym. The 58-year old alumnus comes back to the banks after a long run in the NBA, saying he's "always wanted to coach at Rutgers."

"I am really honored and blessed to be named the caretaker of our team, of our program, of our university's basketball program," Jordan said. "I say 'our' because we've all come to a point that we have to regain our pride and our dignity and our integrity to our university. That's why I'm honored and proud to be part of that. There's a responsibility for all of us to represent our university in the highest class and the utmost respect."

Jordan got right to work that evening, making a last-minute push for New York City guard Jon Severe with an in-home visit. Severe ended up signing with Fordham, but Jordan officially inked his first recruit on Thursday when JUCO forward Craig Brown, a Mike Rice commit, inked with the Scarlet Knights.

"[Assistant] coach [Van] Macon and I, we built a strong relationship," Brown said. "The players and me, I felt a good vibe from them. I know it's a good situation for me to play with them and be successful. Because the players that decided to stay were actually some of the best players. We've got an NBA coach now with NBA experience, so I think it will be even better next year."

Jordan is currently hosting his first official visitor in Hutchinson (Kan.) CC guard D'Von Campbell. Scarlet Nation will provide further info on Campbell's official visit when he leaves campus later today.

Also, expect other official visitors to trek to Piscataway in the near future as Jordan tries to fill the vacated spots on his roster for next season and beyond.


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