For most true freshmen, training camp provides their first taste of college football. But some freshmen are able to get a bit of a head start. Offensive lineman Betim Bujari is among those select few after enrolling early and participating in spring practice. That early experience has already helped him work his way in with the second-team offense.
Early on in training camp, Bujari has taken his share of second-team reps at left guard. However, Bujari is still doing quite a bit of learning.
"I'm getting to know all the plays," he said this past Sunday during RU Media Day. "Howard Barbieri and Art Forst are helping me out. Coach Flood has been teaching me, he's got a great way of coaching. I'm just excited for this camp going on now."
Apparently, Bujari has shown enough in the early going to warrant second-team reps. And on an offensive line with so many unproven players, Bujari could find himself on the field this season.
"I try to not let any of that get to me" Bujari said. "I just try to give it my all, do what I'm told and see where that takes me. So far, it's been great and it's working out."
While most freshmen are now trying to adjust to college life, Bujari has already familiarized himself with this new landscape. It was an adjustment that began back in January.
"It's been a great ride, especially with the weightlifting and getting stronger with the conditioning with JB (Jay Butler) and the staff," said Bujari. "I'm getting stronger and faster. It's been a hard ride, but it's been fun at the same time."
Spending more than a half-year with the program has seen Bujari make some physical gains as well.
"There's definitely been a change," said the 6-foot-4, 295 pound Bujari. "I don't know about a major change."
Bujari went on to mention the more difficult aspects of the game he's had to deal with during his first year in Piscataway.
"The hardest thing has been trying to enable perfection. I'm trying to get everything perfect and trying to make a habit of all my techniques and all that. That's what I've been working on."
The vast amount of techniques used at the college level was also an eye-opening experience.
"That's been a little shocking to me," said Bujari. "I didn't know how much technique was needed. I've learned what the techniques are about and they definitely help. I'm trying to get them down now."
Although Bujari comprises part of the youth and inexperience on the Rutgers offensive line, he also represents a good portion of its potential. Already running reps with the second-team offense, Bujari may soon get to showcase that potential in a game situation.