I continue my series called home run summer, where I present a player or players who have got to knock it out of the park with their preparations for the start of training camp in August.
Up today: Rutgers.
Who needs to step it up? I asked coach Kyle Flood, and he gave me a blanket answer: linemen. Offensive and defensive.
"We have a couple proven guys. A like guy Scott Vallone has to have a great summer and be in great shape when he comes to training camp. He’s one of the leaders," Flood said. "I expect him to drive the process in the summer more than anything. The offensive linemen working on their skill sets. A guy like Taj Alexander can make big strides. Betim Bujari, mastering some of the skills of being a center. He’s had a lot of snaps at center in practice. Now it’s all about muscle memory. Our young defensive linemen, they can take another step: Al Page, Marquise Wright, Max Issaka, those guys this is a big summer for them. They need to come into training camp in as good a shape as they’ve been in their lives because now they’re going to get legitimate reps with the ones and twos that they’ve never had. That affects you as a player."
One additional note on Vallone. He did miss the spring with an injury, which is why it is even more important for him to have a great summer. Flood also said that if Ike Holmes continues to develop the way he did this spring, Vallone could play nose tackle and the 3-technique. "I can envision a scenario where Scott will play both positions during a game. Fortunately, he’s experienced enough to do that."