Taking an in-depth, individual look at the key members of the roster, today ScarletReport.com looks at junior Paul Carrezola
, who is expected to begin training camp in a competition for the starting tight end position.
Past Experience — Carrezola has been on the two-deep for two seasons, but has yet to break out as a playmaker on the offense. The Neshaminy High (Pa.) product earned starts over D.C. Jefferson multiple times in his career, but has just six career catches.
As a Recruit — Carrezola committed to Rutgers over offers from Iowa, N.C. State, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. A three-star tight end out of high school, Carrezola was ranked as the 22nd best prospect at his position in 2009.
Spring Performance — Going into his fourth year in the program, Carrezola took full advantage of Jefferson's limited spring. The 6-foot-4 tight end worked as the exclusive first-team tight end all spring and continued to develop trust with quarterbacks Chas Dodd and Gary Nova.
Carrezola began asserting himself as a leader as well, mentoring fellow Pennsylvania product Tyler Kroft at the position. He finished his spring with two catches for 14 yards in the spring game.
Does Well — Carrezola has become reliable and technically sound as a blocker and receiver. He has good footwork and uses his hands well when blocking, but does not yet excel in either aspect..
Carrezola is sure-handed as a tight end and can be a top check-down target for whichever quarterback wins the job.
Needs to Improve — Carrezola needs to improve his abilities as a down-field threat. The longest reception of his career was a 12-yarder. In check-down situations, Carrezola is becoming a reliable target, but he has not shown any ability to stretch the field as a receiver.
Carrezola does not have the natural athleticism of his competitor, Jefferson, so he needs to continue to improve as a technician to win the position battle. That means better, stronger and more explosive run blocking to go along with developing his skills as a receiver.
Long-Term Outlook — Tight end is the thinnest position in the Rutgers program and Carrezola will be the only player with legitimate experience when Jefferson leaves at the end of the year.
Retaining the pro-style offense under coordinator Dave Brock, look for the tight end to continue to evolve as a crucial cog in the Scarlet Knights' offense. Carrezola understands the system and has the technique down. All that is left is to elevate his play to game-changer status, which is no easy task.
Here is the latest interview with Carrezola.
Spring camp is over and the Rutgers football team has three weeks off before regrouping for summer classes. Coming out of the spring, ScarletReport.com is here to individually break down every expected member of the summer two-deep. Today, we keep things going with a look at tight end Paul Carrezola.