This year has been one continual upward swing for Rutgers redshirt freshman Quentin Gause. He was voted the team's most improved defensive player in spring practice and his recent movement on defense has signified his growing importance to that unit.
"Quentin Gause did an excellent job in the spring playing one of our linebacker positions. So, now we've tried him in a pass-rushing role on third down, just to see how he would adapt," head coach Kyle Flood said during his press conference following Saturday's scrimmage. "We liked the way he did that. So now what we're trying to decide is there may be more of a role for him because if you're fortunate to have some good players at a particular position, which we are, we've got Jamal Merrell, we've got Kevin Snyder and we've got Quentin Gause who are kind of all on the same part of the depth chart. You've got to find a way to get those people on the field because of their performance."
Gause came in as a strongside linebacker last summer, but switched to defensive end during the season. He then moved back to linebacker in the spring, but this time he slid over to the weakside spot.
A true team player, Gause said he will line up wherever is necessary.
"I like to have my hand in the dirt sometimes, but standing up is good also," Gause said. "I like both positions."
Gause is still playing linebacker while also learning the 'R' (rush end) position from two former linebackers, Marvin Booker and Ka'Lial Glaud.
Gause was even able to make a few plays from that position during Saturday's scrimmage.
"There's technique involved, you play with your hands a lot," Glaud said. "You have to speed rush at the right angle and attack it the right way."
Gause has strength working to his advantage as he has always been one of the more physically imposing Scarlet Knights.
"I've gotten stronger as the year has gone on though our winter and summer conditioning program," Gause said. "Coach Cole is getting us right. I am getting stronger each day."
Training camp is also coming a bit easier since it is Gause's second time experiencing the grind of August.
"It's easier for me this time around because I know what to expect, some things you don't though," he said. "Coach Flood has some surprises for us, but I know how to handle practice now. We're grinding each day, I am just taking one day at a time and I'm trying to be consistent."
Everything Gause has done in 2012 is pushing him towards seeing the field for the first time as a Scarlet Knight this season. That time could very well arrive when Rutgers opens up against Tulane on Sept 1st.
"I'm anxious but I'm just humble and waiting for my opportunity," Gause said. "I know I may get on the field this year so when that time comes, I am going to be ready. That's all you can do, is be prepared. I'm ready to win a Big East championship and everybody on this team is ready to win a Big East championship."