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October 24, 2013

Agudosi ready to play a bigger role

Training camp started off as a promising time for Rutgers redshirt freshman wide receiver Carlton Agudosi. He was putting together a solid body of work before injury reared its ugly head and forced him to the sidelines.

He strained his hamstring and saw his August practice time end a bit prematurely.

"It was frustrating but it wasn't anything people in this program didn't go through before," Agudosi said. "When it happened, I was disappointed but I had to bounce back. Injuries happen."

Nevertheless, injury barely ever struck Agudosi throughout his entire sports career.

"I broke a finger or two my freshman year [of high school], but nothing serious," he said. "In hoops, I rolled my ankle one time and I was out for like two weeks. I'm not used to getting hurt. When I was real young, I broke my collarbone playing outside football with the bigger kids."

It's a little hard to imagine that the 6-foot-6 Agudosi was not the biggest kid on the field at any age.

"In the summer after my seventh grade year, I grew at least three or four inches," he said. "I got tall. But from eighth grade to ninth grade, that's when I grew again."

With Agudosi's growth spurt came a new position at wide receiver.

"Up until the seventh grade, I played running back. Then, I started playing defensive end and outside linebacker," Agudosi said. "I started playing receiver my sophomore year."

Agudosi has yet to make his mark at wide receiver at Rutgers, but has been carving out a niche on special teams.

Following his bout with injury this past summer, Agudosi worked himself diligently back to health. He's since appeared in four games as a special teamer and has started to excel in kickoff coverage.

Over the last two games, Agudosi was routinely the first Scarlet Knight down the field on kickoffs.

Coincidentally, he does not have much special teams experience to draw from.

"I probably played one punt in high school just because I was the best player. But here, they really value it," Agudosi said. "It was a way to get on the field so I just want to make the best of it."

This week against Houston, Agudosi could see an upgrade in his role. With Quron Pratt and Leonte Carroo nursing injuries, Agudosi may finally get his chance to show what he can do at the wide receiver position.

"Carlton is doing a good job. He's starting to make an impact on special teams," head coach Kyle Flood said after Wednesday's practice. "He hasn't really had a great opportunity to make an impact on offense. Whether or not that comes this week, it may, you never can really predict those things completely because you may not think it's going to happen and then two twisted ankles in the first quarter of the game and all of a sudden he's playing three quarters. It certainly could. We have a lot of confidence in Carlton. I think when he is given the opportunity he'll perform very well."

Following Wednesday's practice, Agudosi was one of the last players to leave the field as he spent some extra time out there in anticipation of more playing time on Saturday.

"I'm excited," Agudosi said. "I am just trying to get some extra work in, meeting with the coaches more and watching more film so I'm prepared when they call my name."

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