PISCATAWAY, N.J. – It wasn’t as though Joe Lefeged stood on the sideline and watched games last season. The senior strong safety often logged close to 80 plays in a game between his duties on defense and special teams.
But with Devin McCourty in the NFL, not only does more responsibility fall onto Lefeged in the secondary, but also on special teams.
In addition to starting at cornerback, McCourty returned kickoffs and was a vital member of the punt coverage team. Like McCourty, Lefeged returned kickoff a kickoff for a score and blocked kicks last season.
“I think what I learned (from McCourty) is he prepared himself for the season really well and he pushed himself in each cardio session,” Lefeged said. “I started preparing for it at the end of last season.”
Lefeged always worked hard in the offseason, but he said his workouts were more intense this time in an effort to increase his stamina and strength.
“When I went into the weight room and in all the conditioning drills, I not only wanted to make my times, I wanted to finish first,” Lefeged said. “Sometimes I did, and sometimes guy beat me, but I was trying hard to finish first all the time.”
Through two weeks of training camp, Lefeged said he can tell the difference.
“My legs feel good,” he said. “The strength coach and the conditioning staff did a great job.”
Savage talking Deering
One of the more heralded recruits in the 2010 class is freshman Jeremy Deering of Leto High (Tampa), who made an immediate impression on Rutgers sophomore quarterback Tom Savage.
During 7-on-7 drills in the summer, Deering’s ability jumped out immediately.
“Just his ability to go and make plays,” Savage said. “He’s just a freak. He’s fast, long and strong.”
Fifth-year senior linebacker Jim Dumont isn’t only responsible for knowing his assignments as a middle and strong-side linebacker, but also mentoring the younger players.
Earlier this week 6-foot-4, 230-pound true freshman David Milewski began practicing at middle linebacker with the second-team defense, and Dumont is helping him learn the defense.
“He’s going to be a great player,” Dumont said. “He’s a big, big kid in the middle. He’s got great instincts. That’s probably the most important part of linebacker. He’s got great instincts and is always around the ball.
“He may not know everything that is going on, but over time he’ll figure that out. As long as he’s around the ball, he’ll be ok.”
This and that
Schiano said the Scarlet Knights are taking a look at red-shirt freshman offensive lineman Jamal Wilson at tackle. …Freshman running back Casey Turner missed practice with an undisclosed injury. …Abraham Lincoln High’s (Brooklyn, N.Y.) Ishaq Williams, the No. 7 defensive end in Scout.com’s 2011 class, was at practice.