PISCATAWAY, N.J. – While the secondary gets sorted out and the offensive line gains cohesion, Charlie Noonan plugs away in the middle of the defensive line.
For the fifth-year senior defensive tackle, getting ready for the season is a build-up, and he knows where his body should be as the first week of practice came to an end.
There is room for improvement in technique, and conditioning, but he knows he cannot rush it in preparing for the Sept. 2 opener against Norfolk State.
“I’m never where I want to be,” Noonan said. “(Defensive line) coach (Randy) Melvin has that perfection mentality that I’ve taken on as well. I’ve always wanted to be perfect. My technique is getting there and I’m getting there.”
Noonan also noticed a change in the offensive line in the first week of training camp.
“They’re really coming along,” he said. “They’re playing real well right now. They’re finishing and they’re starting to grow together and build chemistry. They’re doing a good job.”
The Difficult Sanu
Throughout practice red-shirt freshman cornerback Logan Ryan gets to face most of the receivers, and he knows who the toughest one is to contain.
“Mohamed Sanu,” Ryan said. “He’s the master of all crafts. He’s a big receiver, he pays a lot of attention to detail in his route-running and his feet and he’s a great athlete.”
During the spring Art Forst told ScarletReport.com one of the many leadership characteristics center Howard Barbieri exhibited was being punctual.
After being named captain early this week, Barbieri was asked for the last time he was late to something. He wracked his brain and came up with …nothing.
“I try not to be (late),” he said. “If I am, I’m really upset with myself.”
Barbieri worked his way up from walk-on to captain, and he said accountability is a big reason.
“People count on you,” Barbieri said. “If they trust you, they’re going to ask you to do more and more stuff and give you more and more responsibility. That’s how I got here.”
Readying for the scrimmage
Rutgers will practice Friday morning before holding its first practice of training camp Saturday morning inside a closed Rutgers Stadium, but several key figures for the season are unlikely to participate.
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said Howard Barbieri (back), Joe Martinek (hamstring), Quron Pratt (“dinged,” according to Schiano) and Gareef Glashen (hamstring) are unlikely to participate.